Diego Lima Agence France-Presse The new populist president Javier Milei, who likes to be called “El Loco” (“The Madman”), campaigned to “recover” the Falkland Islands, claiming that the thing was “non-negotiable”.
A few days before the new president of Argentina, the populist Javier Milei, officially takes office on December 10, concerns are growing around the Falkland Islands, a British territory off the coast of the country. The anarcho-capitalist has promised to bring them back into the Argentine fold — a prospect that revives the specter of the rapid and brutal war that took place in 1982 between the United Kingdom and Argentina, which then claimed sovereignty over these islands, and which now places this tragic memory at the heart of an uncertain presidency.
Javier Milei, who likes to call himself “El loco” (“The Madman”), campaigned to “reclaim” these islands, saying it was “non-negotiable.”
41 years ago, the Falklands Blitzkrieg claimed the lives of 649 Argentines and 255 British soldiers. In 2013, by referendum, the inhabitants of this South Atlantic island territory voted 99.8% to remain under the British Crown. The participation rate of some 3,000 residents of the archipelago was then 92%.
On Thursday, the president of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, also called Falkland Islands, Mark Pollard, reminded the new Argentine president that it is above all the sovereignty of this territory which “is not negotiable”.
“The people of the Falkland Islands are clear in their desire to remain a British Overseas Territory and their commitment to being part of the British family, living in freedom under the government of our choosing,” he said in an interview with the London Daily Mail. “It is not unusual in Argentina for a new president and his party to make commitments regarding the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, but we urge the Argentine government to respect our wishes and our right to self-determination. »
Subscriber to incendiary statements and stunts, Javier Milei was elected last Sunday at the head of an Argentina in crisis with the promise of shaking up the country and committing his government to radical reforms.
< blockquote >
What we are proposing is to move towards a solution like the one that England had with China on the question of Hong Kong
— Javier Milei
During the campaign, he announced that questions about the future of the Falkland Islands could “not be ignored”, specifying that this territory is part of Argentina. However, he rejected the idea of war, opting instead for negotiation and the diplomatic route. “We have to see how we are going to get them back,” he said in an interview several weeks ago with the Argentine daily La Nación. “What we are proposing is to move towards a solution like the one that England had with China on the question of Hong Kong”, i.e. a handover which London, however, seems in no way inclined to consider.< /p>
End of refusal
The day after the election of the far-right candidate, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warned the new president that the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands was not a subject open to negotiation. This issue was “resolved decisively some time ago” by the 1982 conflict, and the United Kingdom has “no intention of returning to it,” its official spokesperson stressed, although adding that the country would “proactively defend” the islanders' right to self-determination.
Since 1833, Argentina has believed that the Falklands were illegally colonized by the United Kingdom — after an occupation by the French and Spanish — and attempted to regain control of the territory by invading it in 1982.
This week, Javier Milei spoke by telephone with the new British Foreign Secretary, former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. The question of the Falklands was not part of the conversation, reports La Nación. The new Argentine president, however, expressed his admiration for Margaret Thatcher, who ironically led London into the Falklands War 41 years ago, inflicting a fearsome political rout on Argentina's then-ruling military junta, leading to his fall.