Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Pope and the Falklands.

Pope Francis, it is reported, shares his Argentinian President's belief that the Falkland Islands, a British Overseas Territory, should belong to Argentina.

Last week, there  was a referendum on the islands to find out what was the will of the people in terms of future sovereignty. This was closely monitored by a team of international observers.
Here are the results.

Results of the referendum on the Political Status of the Falkland Islands


On Monday 11th March 2013, Keith Padgett, Chief Referendum Officer gave notice that the result of the referendum on the Political Status of the Falkland Islands are as follows:
The number of ballot papers issued was 1,522
The number of votes cast at the referendum was 1,518
The total number of rejected ballot papers was 1
The total number of votes validly cast at the referendum was 1,517
The percentage of turnout at the referendum was 92%
The number of “Yes” votes cast was 1,513 (99.8%)
The number of “No” votes cast was 3 (0.2%)
1 vote was unaccounted for
The international observation mission’s preliminary findings were released after the official announcement of the vote result.  Full statement is available to download in English and in Spanish here.
“It is our finding that the Falkland Islands referendum process was free and fair, reflecting the democratic will of the voters of the Falkland Islands,” said Brad Smith, the Head of the International Observation Mission. “The international observation mission has concluded that the voting process was executed in accordance with international standards and local laws. The process was technically sound, with a systematic adherence to established voting procedures.”




Clear enough, wouldn't you say. Some of those voters are in the ninth generation of families to have lived there. 
Argentina's president dismisses it as 'irrelevant'.
She claims the islanders are 'squatters' on land which naturally must be Argentinian territory, because... well, just because.

Here's a timeline, via Wikipedia , showing who, and for how long, has historically held the islands.

February 1764
– April 1767
 France
January 1765
– July 1770
 Great Britain
April 1767
– February 1811
 Spain
September 1771
– May 1776
 Great Britain
February 1811
– August 1829
None
August 1829
– December 1831
Argentina United Provinces
December 1831
– January 1832
 United States
January–December 1832 None
December 1832
– January 1833
 Argentine Confederation
January–August 1833  United Kingdom
August 1833
– January 1834
None
January 1834
– April 1982
 United Kingdom
April–June 1982  Argentina
June 1982
– present
 United Kingdom

So  it seems several others could proffer a claim too. Including the U.S.
The people there speak English, and their houses, their roads, their world owes nothing to Argentina.
If we are to talk of the tyranny of colonialism, which President Kircher brings up, well maybe we might ask her to explain why the population of the country she represents speaks spanish as its main language?
And we might ask her  how the native Fuegian and Patagonian tribes fared under the colonisation of her forbears? How they were hunted and slaughtered by the colonial Argentinians of european  origin. 
It seems to me that the people of the islands should be heard, and supported by the world. And that any nation who talks of 'Democracy' as an ideal, should stand by them. 
(Next Week:  Canada invades St Pierre and Miquelon, after finding a tiny French colonial outpost only a few miles off the southern edge of Newfoundland. )

8 comments:

  1. Well... you know...we don't have enough trouble spots in the world nowadays..so they may as well stir up the pot in Falklands again. Make the new Pope earn his keep.

    We can't let things go quiet...peace would be hard for us humans to handle. We prefer not to get on with each other.

    Gee! I'm glad I reclusive! :)

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  2. Hahaha!
    Not the Falklands again! From what I've heard so far, this pope is as big a dinosaur as the other one.

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    Replies
    1. Look on it as our Alamo....

      Except for the score, which, if I remember correctly, was not exactly a win for Texas?

      This pope seems to be a bit more grounded, less grandiose, but maybe that's just the media taking the Vatican propaganda....

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    2. I heard him described as "Likes to spend his time prying for the sick, the needy, and the poor" and all I could think was it sounded like a Miss America contestant.

      Haha! Yes, ya'll seem to see the Falklands as we see the Alamo! Or Goliad, you posted a Whitman poem once that alludes to Goliad.
      I guess I wouldn't give it up either. Lost those battles, but won the war!
      Hurry to Texas Soub!

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    3. I'll be there on the 27th march! That's a week and a bit away.

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  3. Replies
    1. No, we've got a few left... Anguilla, Pitcairn Islands, Gibraltar, Turks and Caicos, Montserrat, Bermuda, St Helena, British Virgin Islands, ....
      There are fourteen in all.

      Some were granted independence but voted against it.

      Strictly speaking, they're no longer colonies, but are classed as British Overseas Territories.

      America has a few too: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, The U.S. Virgin Islands, The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

      Delete

  4. Interesting, I was not aware.

    I didn't plot these out, but the sun may still not set on the British Empire!

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