Alejandra Conti and Sergio Suppo are two expert journalists in the Falkland Islands. With several trips to the usurped territories, they were on the islands on the 40th anniversary of the war and, as a result of that trip, they published a book which covers various aspects of occupation and life in that inhospitable place.
Of the many aspects covered in the book Falklandswe anticipate a fragment that explains the Manichaean argumentation in fashion among the islanders to justify his position, favorable to the occupation british and that manipulates an old agreement between the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and the United Kingdom made in 1849,
Falkland Islands, 190 years of usurpation: they populated with “British subjects” who ignored the claims of sovereignty
“In the new museum, the exhibition has other characteristics. In a modern room covered in light wood, an audiovisual with testimonies from islanders about the war is projected on a loop. The historical images and the real sound of the combats overlap with the statements from different people who tell what they were doing, where they were, what happened to them during that time.The result appeals to the emotional and is a summary of the vision that the islanders have of the conflict.
On the wall opposite the screen with the video, a time line indicates some of the milestones in the political situation of the islands regarding the Argentine claim. We stop there.
Under the year 1941 it is indicated that “for the first time since the ratification of the peace convention of 1850“, Argentina renews its claims on the islands.
Few, but there are: How many inhabitants of Malvinas define themselves as Argentines?
Here again appears this agreement of 1850 that we had never heard of before and that has suddenly become a workhorse of the island’s argumentation. Some locals, including several officials, argue that it would be conclusive proof of British rights to the islands. They are based on the book Falklands Facts and Fallaciesby Graham Pascoe, with the collaboration of Peter Pepper.
The authors devote themselves to writing history books and articles on what they present as evidence of the alleged British rights to the islands. In that book they maintain that the agreement of 1849-50 determines the implicit waiver of Argentine rights over the islands. If we go to the books and documentation that they take as a basis for their statement, we see that the argument has nothing to do with the Malvinas.
The Government deployed combat aircraft in front of the Malvinas Islands to “monitor and control our spaces”
In the agreement of 1850 (actually 1849, but ratified the following year), Juan Manuel de Rosason behalf of the Argentine Confederation, terminates the Argentine-British enmity as a result of the blockade of the Río de la Plata by Great Britain and France within which the Return of Forced in 1845.
The treaty was called “Convention to Reestablish the Perfect Relations of Friendship between the Argentine Confederation and Her British Majesty”, or Arana-Southern treaty, after the names of those in charge of negotiating it (Felipe Arana and Henry Southern). According to these authors, Rosas implicitly implies by signing the agreement that he renounces to continue claiming sovereignty over Malvinas. “Implicitly” is the key word.
As much as one looks in the text, nowhere is there mention of the Malvinas or Falklands. It would be illogical for this to be the case, since the conflict that was coming to a close was another, that of the Anglo-French blockade of the Río de la Plata.
The Vuelta de Obligado and the Falklands
The authors, in an excess of interpretative freedom, go further and ensure that this agreement brings down Argentina’s right to inherit the possessions of the Spanish colony, nothing less. Pascoe and Pepper’s argument is based on assumptions rather than assertions.
It was likewise embraced by the islanders and pressure groups that lobby for them, and appears in the Museum as if it were an indubitable historical landmark. The truth is that nothing that has been written suggests such a conclusion.
For more details, we consulted the historian Esteban Domina, who says: “The 1849 agreement (ratified in 1850) does not allude to the Malvinas issue. It should not be surprising, since this issue was not on the Rosas agenda since the claims made before the United Kingdom after the occupation of the archipelago in 1833, and the subsequent attempt at negotiation that the revisionist version presents as a ruse by Rosas that did not prosper. In turn, the fact that, after his fall, Rosas established his residence in England feeds the conjectures about his scant interest in the subject. But in no way can it be inferred that this agreement included the resignation of Argentine rights over the islands.
The arguments until now considered definitive for the British side were: 1) the seizure of the islands in 1833 obeyed the uses and customs of the time throughout the world and are irreversible, and 2) the defeat in the 1982 war resulted in conflict ended. The new adoption of a theory as flimsy as that of these two writers casts doubt on the solidity of the two classical arguments.
NT / CP
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