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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 18:58 UTC

 

 

A Malvinas April 2nd parade in front of Argentine Congress

Wednesday, March 20th 2024 - 13:04 UTC
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Victoria Villarruel, a member of the 'military family' and a 'Malvinera' Victoria Villarruel, a member of the 'military family' and a 'Malvinera'

Argentine vice president Victoria Villarruel is planning a great parade of Malvinas Veterans in front of the Congress building in Buenos Aires, not necessarily to glorify war and military actions, but to vindicate the thousands of Argentine conscripts that were sent to invade and occupy the Falkland Islands, and after the mission's defeat had to return in disgrace, hidden by their officers, and only years later were given some sort of compensations, although abundant garrulous oral praise. The parade would take place on April 2nd, the 42nd anniversary of the Falklands invasion by Argentine forces.

Victoria Villarruel actually holds the post that Cristina Kirchner had in the last government, and is quite a character. A lawyer from the prestigious Buenos Aires University, UBA (only Latin American institution with five Nobel Prizes mostly in science), and with a degree on Urban and Port Securities, Villarruel has been very active in the defense of human rights victims and has long questioned the so called Argentine “official history” which under the Kirchner governments only had praise for the terrorist/guerrilla groups. As such she has been an active member of the Center for Legal Studies on Terrorism and its Victims, the wrath target of extreme radical groups, and has demanded compensations for the families of soldiers killed by terrorism.

Ms Villarruel also admits belonging to the “military family”, her father Eduardo, was a Lieutenant Colonel who fought in the Commando 602 unit in the Falklands War, later was part of a military uprising against then elected president Ricardo Alfonsín. Extreme radical groups claim Eduardo Villruel was also involved in human rights abuses during the military dictatorships, which has never been proved.

Anyhow the vice president likes to identify herself as a “Malvinera”, given her father's combat experience and the Argentine constitutional chapter which consider the Falklands, Argentine territory, usurped by the British. On this background on March 5 she convened UK ambassador in Buenos Aires Kirsty Hayes, (following on Lord Cameron's visit to the Falklands), to the Evita Peron chamber where she insisted on the need of a bilateral dialogue, UK/Argentina, on the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty, a matter which she described as a 'continental region issue'. As expected, Ambassador pointed out that if a dialogue is to take place it must necessarily involve the people of the Falkland Islands.

But the celebration has not gone without much criticism. The announced parade on the April 2nd anniversary is seen by some as an acknowledgement towards Malvinas Veterans and to honor their sacrifice in the Malvinas cause. However others in Argentina also believe it pretends to extol an appalling chapter of very fresh Argentine history and would further divide Argentine society, and also like to speculate on the political impact/advantage of such an event. Villarruel has insisted the intention is to promote transparency and a balanced and complete narrative of the Argentine involvement in the 1982 conflict.

Additionally it has been speculated that Ms Villarruel could make a visit to Rio Grande, province of Tierra del Fuego on the vigil of Malvinas Veteran Day, on April first, but there could be logistic complications. Anyhow the Malvinas invasion parade initiative again brings to surface all the divisions and tensions that persist in Argentina as to the historic memory and the legacy of the war and that turbulent period of the country's history.

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