Uruguay in the race for the Falkland Islands?

The territorial dispute over the Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas, depending on which country you support, has been a long and constant quarrel between Argentina and the United Kingdom. According to the International Business Times, Juan  Ackermann of Uruguay and Alfredo Villegas of Argentina have written a book titled “¿Las Malvinas: Son Uruguayas?” The book disputes that the islands belong to Uruguay. All of this due to an agreement between Uruguay and Spain, in which Spain ceded the islands to Uruguay. According to the book, this agreement has been overlooked. The alleged treaty took place in 1841. In that document, “Spain ceded its naval base’s powers.”  Eventually, Spain carried out the same agreement seventeen years later with Argentina.

Uruguay is highly unlikely to pursue this claim, President Jose Mujica supports Argentina’s claim to the Islands. President Mujica signed a decree in which dependent territories in South America were listed. A small mistake was committed when the decree listed the islands as “Islas Falklands,” an error that as minuscule as it may seem, recognized British claims. The Uruguayan Foreign office issued a statement reaffirming is alliances with Argentina. “There is not a shadow of doubt when it comes to the Uruguayan support for the Argentine claim, neither hesitation about its denomination.”

The Falkland Islands have been the cause of so much controversy over many decades. Britain has staked claimed of the archipelago since the 1700s and was successful in settling the territory. Ever since the late 1600s, the United Kingdom has exercised de facto control over the archipelago. In the 1980s, the Argentinian government launched an invasion, which the United Kingdom responded in force. The war lasted three months and killed approximately 900 soldiers. Argentina surrendered, none the less the government still claims ownership.

This article relates to class because it deals with foreign intervention by the United Kingdom. Spain ceded the Islands to Argentina and the UK settled there asserting its dominance over Argentina. It is very interesting to note that the article mentions the successful settlement of the English. The power they exerted on the Islands was no match to Argentina’s. After all these years the controversy will remain until March, when the islands’ residents vote in a referendum on whether the Falklands should remain of British dependency.

Fatima Paniagua