It’s a new anniversary of the beginning of the Malvinas War and it was obviously a reason for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to speak on Cadena Nacional.
Now, while I know that most of you roll your eyes whenever she speaks, this time she even sounded conciliatory at some point. Blame it on the sheer ridiculousness of Downing Street’s recent attempt to make people think that Argentina might be interested in invading the Malvinas Islands once more.
In her 45-minute message, Cristina spoke about many things. But mostly, she celebrated that the BBC had decided to fire Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, she told The Sun that Argentina is not interested in buying weapons and, considering the worrying rise of extremism, Argentina should be seen by the West as an ally, not an enemy.
But perhaps the most relevant part of her message was that she was ordering the declassification of all non-public documents related to the 1982 conflict. They will now be available to the public and will help shed some light on the many accusations of human rights violations coming from former soldiers who were active during the conflict.
Here are some highlights from her message for those of you who can’t sit in front of your screen for 45 minutes:
On the Malvinas War
- “Sending an 18-year-old to a horrible place is a form of martyrdom. They were martyrs. Throughout history, young people have been cannon fodder in the military adventures that countries have gone through”.
On recovering the Malvinas Islands
- “Our territorial independence is still missing a small piece”.
- “We will see the Malvinas Islands become a part of our territory someday”.
- “Our territory was always invaded. First by the Spanish and the during in the British invasions. We have been subjected to pillaging, colonialism, theft”.
On the UK government’s decision to increase defense funding on the Malvinas Islands
- “They show us as a threat to the United Kingdom on the day that the Defense minister makes the announcement that they will increase the Defense budget, when there’s a million Brits who go to a food bank to eat”.
- “They should use that money to provide their citizens with jobs”.
- “We’re no danger in military terms”.
- “We should not mistake political leaders with the rest of the population”.
- “We don’t want the militarization of the South Atlantic region”.
On fear of an Argentine invasion of the islands
- “When you see an act of provocation such as the one that Jeremy Clarkson did, when you see members of parliament who think that dialogue is a necessary thing…We are not a part of the many dangers threatening the world powers today. On the contrary, they can consider us allies in the face of fundamentalist practices”.
- “I want the British to know this, but most importantly their leaders, that Argentina is not a threat. It’s a country that respects human rights, with immigrants from all over the world. This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary since the arrival of the Welsh in the province of Chubut”.
- “There are more British people living in Argentina than there are on the islands. And they live a great life without being bothered or attacked. So if (the British government) needs votes, don’t use Argentina as an excuse”.
On blaming Argentina for the 1982 Malvinas War
- “We don’t want to be made participants of a war that is not ours (in reference to the conflict between Israel, the US and Iran, and Argentina’s indirect involvement in it). And when we invaded the islands, it was not a decision made by a democratic government, it was made by a dictatorship. They (the UK, the US and others) kept their mouths shut when constitutional order was interrupted on March 24, 1976. I never heard any of the great powers call for the return of democracy when thousands of Argentines were being tortured or disappeared. We will not be held responsible for a war that was not ours”.