Britain does NOTHING! Furious Argentine defence chief tears into UK in Falklands rage

Falklands: Historian says Belgrano ‘was legal’

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Jorge Taiana, Argentina’s defence minister, claimed the UK “don’t [sic] do anything” over what his country calls the Malvinas Islands. He added that Britain had “abandoned colonial positions” before, such as in the case of Hong Kong, which the UK handed over to China after a hundred years as per the terms of an agreement between the two nations.

The South American minister’s remarks are just the latest salvo in ongoing protestations by Government officials over ownership of the Falkland Islands.

Argentina has never officially owned the islands, which were uninhabited before being settled on by British, French and Spanish colonisers.

The British reasserted rule of the islands in 1832, following Argentine attempts to install a garrison on the islands.

Argentina has contested a claim to the Falkland Islands ever since, attempting an invasion in 1982.

The Argentine Government is so convinced of its claim to the islands that it has a dedicated minister for their affairs. It treats the official Falkland Islands Government as “illegitimate”.

According to Ambito, an Argentine newspaper, Mr Taiana said the UK had fallen foul of contradictory foreign policy.

He said the UK Government’s posture was that they “cannot negotiate [ownership of the Falkland Islands] because the self-determination of the islanders must be respected”.

In March 2013, the Falkland Islands held a referendum on its status. 99.8 percent of inhabitants polled voted in favour of remaining a British overseas territory.

However, Mr Taiana said that this went against the UK’s support for Ukrainian sovereignty over the Donbas region – which since 2014 has been attempting to break away, and was the reason given by Russian President Vladimir Putin for his invasion of the country.

The minister continued: “When it comes to Ukraine it turns out that there is no question of self-determination for the Ukrainians of the Donbas, who do not seem to want to belong to Ukraine, and that is an issue that cannot be touched.

“It seems that the territorial integrity for Ukraine is valid there, which they do not respect for Argentina.”

Making reference to “perfidious albion” – a derogatory moniker levelled at Britain for its occasionally subversive nous on the world stage – he claimed that UK authorities “don’t have principles, they have interests – and according to those interests they accommodate themselves”.

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As such, Mr Taiana reportedly told Radio listeners they “don’t negotiate, they don’t do anything”.

The Argentine defence minister added: “When will we make them sit down? When we are strong as a country and when we have a regional integration that makes the British realise that it is better to negotiate than to persist in their refusal.”

Speaking on Tuesday, on board an icebreaker near Ushuaia with a contingent of surviving men from the General Belgrano – a ship British forces famously sank during the Falklands War – said his Government would “persist” and “create the conditions” to necessitate negotiations.

In a stark warning, he added: “Then we will see who is right.”

Mr Taiana was sure “they are going to do it” as “they have done it elsewhere; they have done it in Hong Kong, in many places they have abandoned colonial positions”.

Recently, Argentina has taken increasing offence towards a new harbour being built at Port Stanley by British authorities on the island, which the local administration there said “will benefit users in fishing, tourism, and shipping, as well as many other sectors of the local economy”.

Argentina has initiated legal action against the construction company contracted to complete the new facility, on the grounds they did not seek permission to build the new port from them.

Sonia Castiglione, Argentine Minister of Production and Environment, commented at the time: “Malvinas is a provincial jurisdiction, and as such is covered by our regulations, especially in environmental matters.

“Sovereignty is exercised with action, with deeds, and in this sense, from this Ministry we will carry out all the necessary processes.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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