The Falklands oil dispute
The Falklands have oil, therefore Argentina is back demanding that the islands be “returned” to them, particularly since Cristina Fernandez needs both cash and a political distraction:
Escalating Falklands oil dispute goes to UN
The diplomatic row over the Falkland Islands deepened dramatically after Argentina announced that it would take its protests over British oil exploration to the United Nations today.
At the Rio Group summit in Mexico yesterday, Buenos Aires won unprecedented support from other Latin American states for its demand that the UK stop drilling in waters near the islands.
Argentina’s Foreign Minister is to meet the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon. A resolution is also set to be tabled in the UN General Assembly condemning Britain for allowing Ocean Guardian to begin drilling 60 miles north of the islands after Argentina annouced new shipping controls. Desire Petroleum, which is operating the rig, has said that the drilling will take about a month. Further exploration is likely by other companies.
David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, insisted that the exploration was fully within international law.
Of course, Chavez has interjected himself into the dispute, asking Queen Elizabeth to return the islands to Argentina in yet another display of his characteristic ignorance, during his Sunday rant, Alo Presidente,
But back to Mexico for the Rio Group summit,
At the Rio Group summit, Argentina scored a coup in the war of words when 32 heads of state backed its “legitimate rights . . . in the sovereignty dispute with Great Britain”. Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan President, used a television address to reiterate his support, bellowing: “Give the Falkland Islands back to Argentina, Queen of England.” But it was the backing of countries such as Chile and Brazil that has concerned British diplomats.
Hardly surprising that Chile and Brazil would take that side, but the summit – ironically called “The Summit for Unity” – was not all smiley faces. Chavez and Uribe got into a spat, after which Chavez was interviewed by CNN where he declared “If it weren’t for the table and friends, Uribe would have assaulted me. I told him to go to hell.”
Such is the sad state of South American politics this afternoon. I was talking to a friend yesterday who suggested I recycle headlines from the 1980s – on the Falklands, for instance.
However, in view of the Obama administration’s lame foreign policy it’s not surprising that these sorts of issues are coming back.