Tuesday, 5 March 2013
Falklands and the United Kingdom: Argentineans and their opinions
As we said yesterday, below we have some opinions from Argentineans about people in the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands. (Note: the translation tries to reflect as accurately as possible the original).
As a reminder in relation to our previous post, we said that "The only condition: not to argue about sovereignty and/or claimed rights over the islands." Unfortunately, the below posts do not fully comply with that premise. There were several choices: edit them, not to post them, and so on. However, as the whole idea of these posts is to have an open floor for debate it seems that the best choice is to publish them but highlighting once again the condition.Therefore, the opinions are integrally attached and have not been edited, respecting the style of each of the authors. It will be up to the reader to decide.
"If you ask me about England and its people, I think that they have contributed much to nowadays society. Their inventiveness brought progress as crucial as the steam engine, the telephone or the industrial revolution, our civilization became who we are. Also, because of their curiosity they have been moving around the world, with the consequent conflicts that this brings.
I know many Englishmen, both expatriates in Argentina as others I have met around the world. They comply with the cliché of having a proper personality, punctual and protocol but never lack the famous British irony, which gives them a unique sense of humor. Englishmen living in Argentina, are noted for their ability to work, foresight and forcefulness to take action. They understand the importance of contacts and relationships, and from the day they arrive strive to know Argentinean culture and build up bonds with the locals. Everyone I know learned the English language and nowadays some local expressions include their language. They travel the country almost more than we know it, from north to south and wherever they go they make every effort to meet people and always have business ideas. Currently, and much to their dismay, the vast majority is organizing their return to England, frightened by the political and economic situation. Argentina is ceasing to be a lucrative destination or friendly to the British.
In this country it is said that we are half Italian and half Spanish, but do not overlook the English influence on all of us: the railroad, the press, and even the language, with our Anglicisms in everyday speech. Without forgetting the rugby increasingly popular sport -I am a great admirer.In my particular case, I must say that I have nothing to recriminate them. I understand that they may be criticized because of their arrogance that they had in the past and have now to use force to conquer new territories.
That brings us to the Falklands. In my view, the Malvinas are Argentinean and I would be happy it was not a topic for discussion. However, since the end of the war until today, there were many missed opportunities to manage this conflict diplomatically and regain sovereignty. Now come into play other elements such as oil, and beyond wanting to recover them because of territorial reasons, I find that the causes are economic and electoral. I admit I do not know much about it, but I get the feeling that Kelpers agree with the current situation and must find a diplomatic channel that leads to a compromise that pleases everyone. I hope the enmity between two populations who suffered and died for these islands does not grow."
"I have always felt comfortable with British citizens. I often think that Argentineans and them have many similarities. Indeed, we are somewhat similar. Brits living in Argentina (who in recent years increased) as well as visiting the UK. Nice people with similar tastes. We know that in Argentina there is no hatred against the UK, on the contrary, here we love their music, their culture, and for anyone now to wear a t-shirt displaying the Union Jack may even be well seen on the street. Any newly immigrated English or British feel comfortable and integrated in AR.
The Malvinas issue in my opinion should have been solved already some 80 years ago + or-. The solution in the best case for AR will be "Purchase" or as a "leaseback".
AR has stopped prosperity for about 70 years approximately. I think the integration between the UK and AR with the region will be the beginning of the takeoff of the entire South American region including the future of Antarctica. Argentina with this playing mainly the geopolitical and strategic roles in terms of industry and commerce.
And we should do this as soon as possible, as the countries of our region (Brazil, Uruguay, Chile) are watching with pleasure the industrial and commercial alternatives that are presented to the Malvinas. Before we're out of this, AR should take that place. Otherwise, AR will be left with nothing.Nowadays, AR should be more than Canada and Australia. I think there is still time. "
Plinio Angel Larocca
Mar del Plata
"My thinking and my feelings.
I had the opportunity, several times, to be in England and Scotland, and beyond my prejudices and feelings, the truth is that I felt comfortable and at ease, this is where I begin to discover that what my heart feels about this people it is not actually about them but about certain historical policies that I do not agree with or will ever do so, but I also know that those policies do not represent the average people of England.
I think it is time now, that the beings who inhabit this beautiful planet, transcend certain issues, if we want to have a better quality of life. I believe that peace is the only real way to solve conflicts.The only winning parties in a war are the egos of those in power or policies and/or strategies that do not represent at all the feelings of an entire population. And this is very clear ... anywhere in the world a mother, prefers peace, a child prefers peace, an old man prefers peace, families prefer peace ... if they are the majority in the world ... why are there wars?
So beyond what we may have learnt in school, beyond what we feel in our hearts as nationalism, beyond the cliches and rivalries, I think it's time to start thinking differently, to see the reality more wisely, leaving aside the economic interests and pride that today rule the world. I know that sounds utopian, I know it seems like a fantasy, but I also know that's how projects begin and then come true.
In particular, the Malvinas, in my opinion, should be declared a World Heritage Site, and to legislate so as to its inhabitants and anyone who wants to live there can do so in peace, with their rights and duties to respect the land and its inhabitants.
The Malvinas Islands can be an opportunity to take the first step towards new global policies, more humanized, and maybe someday may be the kickoff to a new way of resolving conflicts.It is not easy, but to organize a war isn't easy either. Then, I think this is a good historical time to see the great global crises we are living, and we start thinking, feeling, designing and building a better world. I think all instead of putting all the energy in creating strategies that benefit only a few, would be good to start focusing on a more just world for all.
Islas Malvinas Falkland Heritage ... in peace, rights and duties, for anyone who wants to live there...
My respectful and everlasting remembrance to those who died in the Malvinas Falklands conflict of 1982"
Mar del Plata - Argentina
"My opinion about the Malvinas Islands is a bit contradictory. On the one hand I think that the Argentine people historcally, and especially in recent years, have begun to have a cavalier attitude to many issues that may be directly or indirectly linked to the Malvinas. Unfortunately, many Argentines relate and associate their thoughts on certain issues related to sport in general, especially football.
Oddly enough, often talking to people my age and even older is that I've noticed this feature. This rejection occurs not only with England but also with many other countries that have been historical rivals in sport-related topics.
It is a major mistake we make mixing sports with politics. Politics are supposed and should be made to meet the needs of all citizens of a particular country; and contrary, sport needs don't have to satisfy any except those which are superfluous.
Another problem I have is that Argentines information is obscure. Not only the information we receive in Argentina is scarce but it is strongly dependent on the interests of a few. I believe this issue and as mentioned above in the first paragraph has made the Argentine people in general to have an unfavorable opinion about the Malvinas.
Additionally, the UK is not free from blame in my opinion. Throughout history they have shown colonial and imperialist attitudes that have damaged at the time the originary people. However, that was the past, other codes, other cultures, but we must not forget or ignore the aggression and arrogance of the British people.
Because this difference in opinions, I believe that the most convenient and appropriate way of dealing with this situation is sit down and negotiate without ignoring the international law of self-determination of people. I am in favour of bilateral negotiations which giving priority to the rights of Argentineans, British people and Malvinas islanders under an international convention without biased "arrangements".
Finally, and as a critic of Argentina's policies, I think that what is missing in Argentina in recent years are objectives and long-term goals with clearly defined strategies. Because of focusing on short-term worries we end up with this constant political and economic instability. One goes to bed with a political reality and wakes up the next day with another reality not only different but also opposed to the previous day. All this instability not only does work against the economy but also the social and cultural aspects, that directly or indirectly relates to Malvinas.
My opinion may be a bit utopian but you need to have utopian ideas to achieve goals that meet the needs of all citizens; and that is presumably what politics should do".
Augusto Julián Larocca