Letter: Oiling the wheels of Falklands solution

ARGENTINA’S latest belligerent attitude to the Falkland Islands (your report, 22 December), with Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay, will no doubt gain the support of many others – though that would require some hypocrisy by the United States, France and Spain et al.

But, of course, the Falklands are not a colony: they are a settlement, a dependency which happens to be overseas. So if others did support Argentina, then they should realise that they support imperialist aggression and forced colonisation of a totally different people (akin to China’s treatment of Tibet), who have lived there in peace since before present-day Argentina was established.

Argentina itself effectively was founded on the basis of the near-total extermination of the previous indigenous peoples. That is hardly what the United Nations was formed to uphold, and certainly not what its committee on decolonisation is intended to address.

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Those supporting Argentina’s argument should also realise that its geographical claim rests on the 1881 treaty’s arbitrary straight-line division of Tierra del Fuego between her and Chile, with the eastern part of the island closest to the Falklands quite separate from mainland Argentina.

Geologically, considering that Cape Horn is in Chile and the way the whole curve of the southern tip of South America continues sub-sea from Chile into the South Atlantic towards the Falklands, one could make a better case for Chile’s “ownership” than for Argentina’s.

The statesman-like solution must be for all three countries, with the Falklands’ agreement, to come to a sensible agreement on the oil exploration rights similar to those pertaining in the North Sea.


Horseleys Park

St Andrews, Fife