Argentine President "To Celebrate Falklands Invasion"

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 114 months ago
Argentine President "To Celebrate Falklands Invasion"

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Road sign in Argentina by alex-s
With the world's leadership ensconced in London for a global chin-scratch about how to get out of this mess, you'd think that everybody would be focused on the financial challenges ahead, right? Argentine president Cristina Kirchner Fernandez seems to have other things on her mind: she's planning to attend a party at the ambassador's official residence in Belgrave Square, celebrating the country's disastrous 1982 invasion of the Falklands, where she will make another demand for Britain to "give up" the islands.

The Falklands, known in Argentina as Las Malvinas, were invaded 27 years ago tomorrow, with the subsequent war lasting until June before the military government in Buenos Aires conceded defeat. Despite this event being remembered by the majority of Argentines as one of the darkest moments in their country's history, tomorrow's event, officially held to "honour the fallen" from the conflict, could turn into a rallying cry for Argentina's dubious claim.

"La Presidenta" has become accustomed to invoking the islands as a populist move — she badgered Gordon Brown over the issue during a meeting last week in Viña del Mar, Chile — and with domestic politics looking dicey, including a week-long strike by countryside workers that ended on Friday, Kirchner could certainly use a distraction from the country's greater problems.

The event may, however, be distracted by bigger news coming out of Argentina: Raúl Alfonsin, the first democratically elected president following the dictatorship that crumbled shortly after the Falklands debacle, died in his sleep last night aged 82. The death of a man widely held as an emblem of Argentine democracy, and one who put on trial many of those responsible for the war, may cause organisers to rethink the wisdom of "celebrating" an invasion that epitomised the country's darkest days.

Last Updated 01 April 2009