The tension between Argentina and the United Kingdom has only grown over the course of this year in the lead-up to the 30-year anniversary of the Falklands War. The islands have been under constant contention between the two world powers for decades and a long series of debates and cultural wars has been apparent in recent months.
Argentina’s president Cristina Kirchner announced last week that legislators passed a new law which bans British ships from “mooring, loading or carrying out logistical operations” in the province of Buenos Aires. The move further ignited a nationalistic dispute between the two countries during the fervor of the London Olympics. Most commentators agree that the move to block ships is in direct correlation to the dispute over the contested islands, and serves as a mostly symbolic gesture.
The Falklands War began 30 years ago when Argentine forces attempted to take over the tiny archipelago situated off the coast of mainland Argentina and were defeated by forces under the government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The islands have remained symbols of both countries’ sovereignty during the last three decades.
President Kirchner has demanded that British officials meet with her to discuss the status of the islands repeatedly. In response to comments made by David Cameron, she told the press this year that if British officials will meet with her:
They should not expect crazy outbursts or xenophobic gestures from our side, we will leave that to others.
Earlier this year an ad, featuring Argentine hockey captain Fernando Zylberberg training on Falkland territory for the Olympic Games in London, was taken as an affront by British officials. The ad ended with the statement, “To compete on English soil we train on Argentine soil,” according to the BBC. President Kirchner decided to air the ad in an attempt to publicize the continued disagreement between the two countries over the islands. British officials scorned the move, saying President Kirchner was attempting to politicize the Olympic Games, the BBC reports.
Last week, a Falklands war cemetery dedicated to fallen Argentine soldiers was broken into and vandalized. The British government said that it “repudiated the desecration,” according to the Telegraph. An investigation is under way regarding the cemetery but continued to remind leaders of the two countries of the constant dispute.
Prime Minister David Cameron has remained staunch about the status of the 3,000 residents of the islands, demanding that they remain under the British government. There has been a surprising lack of dialogue between the two leaders, which seems to lead to a rather indirect war of culture and prowess. The new ban on British ships is only the latest installment in a decades-long disagreement that may go on for many more.
Photo Credit: Griffiths911