The readers’ forum

Argentina must honor islanders’ wishes


Re Andres Oppenheimer’s March 10 article, Argentina shoots self in foot over islands: The Falkland Islands asserts Argentina’s sovereignty claims as legitimate; however, I disagree.

The first-known landing on the Falkland Islands was made in 1690, by John Strong, a naval captain who named the stretch of water between West and East Falkland as ‘Falkland Sound’ after Viscount Falkland. British sovereignty of the islands dates back to 1765 when an expedition landed at Port Egmont on West Falkland and took possession of it and “of all the neighboring Islands for King George III.”

While the issue of Spanish claims has kept lawyers in work for decades, the facts are that the Spanish colony at Port Louis withdrew in 1811, leaving a plaque claiming sovereignty which was not recognized by anyone at the time. This was, of course, decades before the Republic of Argentina came into existence.

On March 10 and 11 the Falkland Islands government held a referendum to determine their future political status. 99.8 percent of the islanders voted to remain a UK overseas territory, with just three No votes. The turnout was extremely high at 92 percent and the referendum was observed by an independent mission comprising monitors from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and several countries in Latin America.

In exercising the principle of self determination, a right enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the people of the Falkland Islands have sent a clear message about their desire to retain their links to the UK.

As my prime minister, David Cameron, said after the referendum, the British government hopes that the Argentine government takes careful note of this result.

We urge it to stop harassing the islanders and ignoring their wishes. As Oppenheimer suggests, such behavior undermines Argentina’s international reputation and is not in the interests of the Argentine people.

Kevin McGurgan, British Consulate-General, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

Ceci Sanchez, as a toddler, with her father, Jose Ignacio Maciá, and mother, Cecile, in Cuba.

    The readers’ forum

    My father died at the Bay of Pigs Invasion

    This Easter Sunday is especially sad for me. My father died this weekend 53 years ago at the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

  • Pray for peace

    It’s with great sadness that in the midst of the holiday of Passover, we witnessed, once again, another act of violence and hatred that has become far too common of an occurrence in our world. Instead of only recalling the joy of freedom from bondage, we were also gripped by the knowledge of someone who killed out of their hatred of Jews.

  • Respect police officers

    Re April 15 article Veteran cop granted bond in U.S. drug-running case: Being a real cop isn’t something you do, it’s something you are. So we take it personally when we lose a fellow cop and when we are unfairly tainted. When a cop does wrong, as we know, cop bashers will use it to attempt to tarnish the profession. The bad acts of an individual cop do not and should not represent the profession any more than the bad acts of a civilian criminal should define their race or ethnicity. Serving and protecting comes at a high price. Each year about 60,000 assaults on cops occur resulting in about 16,000 injuries. On average this past decade, 160 cops died yearly in the line of duty just doing their jobs. Yes, the 160 may make the news but the 16,000 and 60,000 do not.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category