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The emotional strength of the Falkland Islands in presidential campaign

The debate among the candidates for the presidency of Argentina focused in recent days on an issue that for the citizens of the country has become an axis of honor and patriotism, Las Malvinas archipelago or the British Overseas Territory of the Falkland Islands, as they are called by the United Kingdom.

Juan José Gómez Centurión, candidate for the presidency of Argentina.

Juan José Gómez Centurión, candidate for the presidency of Argentina. / Photo: Clarín newspaper

LatinAmerican Post | Alberto Castaño Camacho

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Leer en español: La fuerza emocional de Las Malvinas en campaña presidencial

Undoubtedly, Falkland Islands have been, since 1833, overseas territories of the United Kingdom, however, Argentina has always claimed ownership and has been a repetitive theme that has endured in the environment for new generations that are growing and listening to the stories of veteran survivors of the war between April and June 1982 and of course all series of theories, stories and claims in reference to the archipelago.

One of those candidates to occupy the chair of the president in the Casa Rosada of Buenos Aires is the retired military and veteran of the Falklands War, Juan José Gómez Cenurión, who without delay stated in the most recent presidential debate that “Falkland is a national cause, but our defense model has been disjointed. We are going to design a defense system according to our country ”and he added emphatically appealing to the Argentine nationalist sentiment that“ We will maintain the constitutional mandate to fight to integrate the Falkland Islands into our territory because it is a national cause ”.

He was not the only one who used this deep wound in the history of Argentina to capitalize on the will of the voters, Alberto Fernández, candidate of Frente de Todos, Peronist who acts in the name of 'Kirchnerism' alluded to what are for him failures in the current government of also candidate Mauricio Macri.

“All these years the Macri government was very busy in trade with the United Kingdom and the Falklands and forgot about sovereignty. To the memory of our soldiers, I will make sure that things are different, ”Fernandez said vehemently.

And while this was happening in the province of Santafe between Macri, Fernández, Lavagna, Gómez Centurión, del Caño and Espert, the government in office urged oil companies to refrain from advancing projects aimed at the extraction of hydrocarbons in waters of the archipelago, which adds spicy both to the presidential campaign, and to the wishes of the Argentines to recover these island territories located 500 kilometers from its coasts.

Companies such as Rockhopper PLC and Premier Oil, which have made announcements in reference to the Sea Lion project in waters adjacent to the island territory, generated the reaction of the Argentine foreign ministry. "Before the announcements of the companies" Rockhopper PLC "and" Premier Oil PLC ", in relation to the hydrocarbon deposit called" Sea Lion "and the company" Argos Resources ", holder of the" license "PL001, adjacent to said deposit , the Argentine Republic recalls that such companies are operating on the continental shelf near the Falkland Islands, without the authorization of the Argentine Government , ”says the official ruling of the gaucho government.

Also read: What will happen to Colombian ex-president Álvaro Uribe?

The presidential debate takes a temperature on this issue and the claims of oil companies make both the Argentine government and the citizens themselves be alert to the diplomatic reactions that will generate communications from their chancery.

A pill of history about the war

The Falklands war was fought between April 2, 1982, and June 14 of the same year, only two and a half months were enough for the British to recover the territory they claimed militarily from the first half of the 19th century. There were 649 Argentine soldiers who lost their lives defending the claims of the military government of Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, while 255 Britons offered their lives in the cold waters of the South Atlantic on behalf of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth and by order of Margaret Thatcher, the woman of iron.

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