Last Sunday was yet another anniversary of British occupation of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, but this year it carries an extra dimension due to being preceded by the completion of Brexit just a couple of days previously – something which did not escape the attention of Malvinas, Antarctic and South Atlantic Secretary Daniel Filmus.
"Europe has ceased recognising the Malvinas as British territory," the Argentine official highlighted, thus opening up new roads towards a peaceful dialogue over sovereignty as mandated by Resolution 2065 of the United Nations General Assembly in 1965, which recognised a sovereignty dispute over the islands between Britain and Argentina, enjoining the two countries “to proceed to negotiations without delay.”
“We’ll continue our claim the historic way but in the last year of government we have gained the support of all multilateral organisations worldwide,” insisted Filmus, speaking following the 188th anniversary of the British occupation of the disputed islands.
From now on the islanders will have to pay fisheries rights, affecting their main source of revenue, he pointed out.
“Every nation in the world is convinced that colonialism cannot continue but the United Kingdom turns a deaf ear due to the great natural and strategic wealth of the Malvinas,” claimed Filmus, speaking in a radio interview.
“The Malvinas cause and the defence of the enormous natural resources in the surrounding waters has again become a state policy,” he said.
“Congress unanimously approved the laws presented by President Alberto Fernández to establish the outer limits of the Continental Platform, the increased fines for fisheries poaching and the creation of the National Advisory Council on Malvinas Issues composed of the main political parties which is already working out medium-term and long-range policy proposals,” the official observed.
"After the intensity of our claim was lowered, Alberto Fernández has again made the Malvinas a state policy," he argued.
In this sense Filmus assured that "the recovery of the effective exercise of national sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich and the surrounding waters in conformity with international law and respecting the lifestyle of its inhabitants is a permanent and irrevocable objective of the Argentine people, as enshrined in our National Constitution."
"The refusal of the United Kingdom to comply with the obligation to renew sovereignty negotiations is aggravated by their continuous actions of exploration and exploitation of both renewable and non-renewable natural resources, as well as an unjustified and disproportionate military presence on the Islands," underlined Filmus.
"We cannot accept foreign ships entering into our zone to guard against trawlers poaching,” Filmus added, insisting that the fisheries be exclusively guarded by Argentine vessels.
Any foreign vessel entering territorial waters beyond protocol activities would need the approval of Congress, he stipulated. That also applied to the United States, he said.
Argentina is this year marking the bicentenary of raising its flag over the Malvinas in the name of the United Provinces of the River Plate in 1820 as the legitimate heir of the Spanish Empire, 13 years before the British arrival.