Tuesday, 23 February 2010
To have and to hold
I enjoyed William Langley’s profile of President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, the Botox Evita, in the Sunday Telegraph. Actually I think the parallel here should not be with the great Evita but more with Juan Peron’s second wife, Isabel, also one-time president of Argentina, the unlamented Isabelita. Or, considering her present posturing over the Falkland Islands, she might best be seen perhaps as the Botox Galterei.
I’m exaggerating, of course; nobody could possibly be as stupid as Leopoldo Galtieri, the man who embarked on an ill-advised military adventure to shore up the crumbling popularity of his murderous military junta. I don’t honestly think that the people of Argentina have the stomach for another fight, no matter how they shout about Las Malvinas. But Kirchner, increasingly unpopular, has decided on a spot of Argentinean machismo, imposing what amounts to an economic blockade on the Falklands.
Yes, she is drawing on a sense of grievance, on wounded national pride. The 1994 constitution, created after the end of the dictatorship- for which they have the British to thank – declares the recovery of ‘Las Malvinas’ to be “a permanent and unrelinquished goal of the Argentinean people. Recovery; that’s such an emotive word, don’t you think? Irredentism, the argument that lands should belong to the country to which they are ethnically or historically related.
There was a brief and questionable Argentinean occupation of the Falklands in the late 1820s, when a penal colony was established; but that’s it, that’s all. More than that, there is absolutely no ethnic link with any native Patagonian settlers; there never was. Besides, many of the natives of Patagonia itself were wiped out in the 1870s in an episode known in Argentinean history as the War of the Desert, by which control spread southwards from Buenos Aires to the areas adjacent to the Falklands. The very use of the word ‘desert’ gives some idea of how the native tribes were perceived.
Still, this is all quite arcane, really only of historical interest. The simple fact remains - a point I made on another blog - that the people of the Falklands are British and wish to remain British. British soldiers fought and died preserving their freedom from a brutal foreign aggressor, good at killing its own people, not so good at fighting wars. As long as the people of the Falklands want no change in their present status it is our duty to stand by them, no matter how much hot air is generated in Buenos Aeries. The only lift Kirchner is likely to get is from her continuing use of Botox.
Posted by Anastasia F-B at 16:27
Labels: argentina, falkland islands
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reminds me of whats going on in Kashmir. i just hope that Falklands debate finally settles.ReplyDelete
"The only lift Kirchner is likely to get is from her continuing use of Botox."ReplyDelete
Argentina is pissing in the wind, you're right, it probably is just a stance to sure up the vote in similar vain to New Labour being tough on everything. People can see through these ploys, surely? :S, Unless they think Gordon Brown is so spineless as to just give it back or sell it to them for a makeover, he'd be the sort of man who would try botox.
I'd quite like to visit the Falklands one day, I imagine it'd be an interesting visit being so far away from 'the mainland'.
Nitin, it should, if only Argentina did not produce so many shallow and opportunist leaders.ReplyDelete
Yes, I'd like to go too, Jimmy; I have an attraction to wild and remote places.
"I have an attraction to wild and remote places"ReplyDelete
So that's why you visited my blog!
Colin, you are far too hard on yourself. :-)ReplyDelete
I hate everything about this woman, and everything about her country.ReplyDelete
I can't comment on the country as a whole, but I've been to Buenos Aires and the people were lovely.ReplyDelete
I'm sure they were, but most I've met are arrogant axe grinders, masquerading as tin pot dictators banging on about the Falklands till the sheep come home. The Falklands was Maggie's finest hour, and I salute her for it.ReplyDelete
Yes, indeed. The topic did not come up, I'm glad to say. I tried some tango, that was better. Evita is also another of my all-time heroes. :-)ReplyDelete
I'm afraid I've had far too many vile rows with people in the 'Keep The Falklands British' Facebook group to have any affection for the place. The only tango I'll do is on the deck of the Belgrano. Sorry to sound like a Sun worshipper...but it also rises, don't you know.ReplyDelete
Have you ever been to Key West, Adam? There is an annual Hemingway lookalike competition (old bearded guys!) in a bar whose menu contains such delights as a burger named the Bun also Rises!ReplyDelete
It's funny you mention that. I've not been, but I remember reading about it last year. I've a friend whose a spitting image--beard and all. No lookalike contest will I decline, but I'll really more of an Oscar Wilde type, in that respect.ReplyDelete
Yes, I've noticed. :-)ReplyDelete
There's only one thing worse than being noticed, and that's not being noticed!ReplyDelete
My leitmotiv. :-))ReplyDelete