Argentina's Central bank will make available next March the new 50-peso bill paying tribute to Argentina’s sovereignty over the resource-rich archipelago, under the slogan “Malvinas Islands. A sovereign love.”
As part of the commemorations of the “Day of the Veterans and Fallen in the Falklands War”, or the 32nd anniversary of the start of the South Atlantic conflict with the UK, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez unveiled a new 50-Peso bill that will carry a map of the Malvinas Islands and is to be soon issued.
The Telegraph published a long interview with Daniel Filmus recently appointed to head the Argentine government newly created Malvinas Islands Related Issues Secretariat in which he repeats many of the arguments of the Cristina Fernandez administration campaign referred to the Falklands sovereignty claim, using such words as 'colonialism' and 'militarization', and attacking UK's refusal to sit and dialogue as indicated by UN resolutions.
According to reports in the British media, Cunard's 'Queen Victoria' was warned it faced hefty fines if the cruise continued to fly the red ensign while in the port of Buenos Aires. This has led to a strong reaction from the Foreign Office which described the incident as an 'unacceptable example of harassment and intimidation” and anticipated it will be raising the incident with the Argentine authorities.
The “Gaucho Rivero” bill which bans the access of British flagged (red ensign) or convenience flagged vessels which call in the Falkland Islands remains fully in force for Ushuaia, said Marcelo Echazú, head of the Tierra del Fuego Tourism Institute, Infuetur, on announcing this year’s cruise season.
The Argentine radical group ‘Resistencia Malvinas’ protested on Thursday midday before the Lan Chile offices in downtown Buenos Aires to demand the end of the weekly air link between Punta Arenas and the Falkland Islands. The group led by Toni Lopez and with drums banging displayed banners, distributed pamphlets and burnt Union Jacks.
Argentina’s ongoing attempts to strangle the Falkland Islands economy by intimidating cruise vessels from calling at Stanley and other islands has been picked up by the Daily Mail in an article written by Ian Drury.
An Argentine radical group involved in actions against cruise vessels and maritime traffic with the Falkland Islands has promised a similar campaign against Lan Chile offices in Buenos Aires, the airline which flies the only link of the Islands with the continent.
A demonstration by pickets in the Argentine Tierra del Fuego port of Ushuaia protesting the docking of the ‘Star Princess’ cruise which arrived from the Falkland Islands was contained by local security forces and the blaring of ‘God save the Queen’.
Most probably this cruise season 2012/2013 will be remembered not for the record number of calls or visitors (estimated in half a million) but as a new case of Argentine intolerance with the Malvinas Islands in centre stage, writes La Nacion columnist Emiliano Galli.