Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chile Braces Itself as Falklands Tensions Rise

British troops advance on the Falklands, 1982
With Argentina and Britain increasing the rhetoric over the Falkland Islands, Chile is reviewing its diplomatic options and obligations to both nations. Chilean foreign relations officials are focusing in particular on navigation and travel accords after the Mercosur trading bloc -- which includes Argentina and Chile -- agreed in December to ban Falkland Islands-flagged ships from their ports. Chile's review includes a 1999 pact with Argentina that allowed Chile's Lan Airlines to resume flights to the Falklands. Chile has friendly relations with both Argentina and Britain, and the renewed tensions have put Chile in an awkward position. Faced with pressure from Buenos Aires, Chilean diplomats say it would be difficult to say no to Argentina, a trusted neighbor at a time when relations with Peru and Bolivia are frosty. Chile and Argentina have formed a joint peacekeeping force, for example. At the same time, Britain has been a solid ally of Chile, whose Armada likes to fancy itself after the Royal Navy. Argentina began its diplomatic charge for the Falklands in 2010, after Britain started drilling for oil around the islands (known to South Americans as Malvinas). The dispute is expected to heighten with this year's 30th anniversary of the 1982 Falklands War.


Anonymous said...

The only reason why I can imagine that the Chilean government would side with Argentina is because they think that the UK has finally lost it's edge. Margaret Thatcher ain't there, the Brits are exhausted from fighting the 'war on terror' and the eventual annexation of the Falklands is inevitable. That just seems like weak logic to me; Taiwan is still here, after all.

This is distressing to me. Most Chileans are aware of the NARCISSISTIC national character of the Argentines. The war over the Falklands in years past was fought over national pride. Narcissism can be taught, and persists for a long time in a person. I'm sure if the UK rolls over now there will come yet another round of petty and destructive behavior from Argentina, the same as during the later half of the twentieth century.

Anonymous said...

Of Chile's neighboring troika, Argentina is by far the most unreliable and volatile neighbor. Its ludicrous irredentist claim over the Falkland Islands sovereignty has neither present nor future. Why? As Admiral Jorge Isaac Anaya proclaimed in 1982: The UK is a decadent country, and on top of that is ruled by a woman (yes, some woman!) They'll do nothing in response to Argentina's "occupation in order to negotiate." Now Argentina has reversed that old joke. It wants "to negotiate in order to occupy."
Some people are now again trumpeting that the UK is in "decline" and that it will do nothing in defense of the freedom of the Falkland Islanders! This is sheer wishful thinking- obviously extracted from Argentinian propaganda.