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Argument: Brits now dominate the Malvinas; self-determination cannot apply

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Supporting quotations

John Catalinotto. "On anniversary of Malvinas War, whose islands?". Workers World. 7 Apr 2007 - Self-determination for whom?

A false argument that was raised over and over at the time to excuse British intervention was the claim that the 1,800 inhabitants of the Malvinas, who were settlers or descendants of settlers from the British Isles, wanted to remain British “subjects.” (In 1982 they were not British citizens.) Thus, it was argued, applying “self-determination” would mean supporting the choice of these settlers and thus supporting Britain.

But the Malvinas/Falkland Islands were a special outpost of the British Empire, just as Hong Kong, Diego Garcia, Aden and the Suez Canal were in other periods of its history. Or as New Caledonia (Kanaky) is for French imperialism. Or as the Panama Canal Zone is for U.S. imperialism. They are military or commercial bases with some civilian population.

It is possible to colonize an area with people from the metropolis, in some cases killing or driving out the Indigenous population. The result can be a majority that prefers to be an extension of the imperialist metropolis. This only shows that the “self-determination” argument is not absolute. You have to evaluate what strengthens world imperialism and what weakens it.

The British presence in the Malvinas—which now includes 1,200 soldiers, sailors and air force personnel—puts imperialist pressure on all of South America. Indeed, the vast majority of Latin Americans side with Argentina’s continued desire to take back the Malvinas.


The Argentine Embassy in Australia - The principle of self-determination does not apply to the Malvinas Islands Question

The specificity of the Malvinas Islands Question lies in the fact that the United Kingdom occupied the islands by force in 1833, expelled the original population and did not allow its return, thus violating Argentine territorial integrity. Therefore, the possibility of applying the principle of self-determination is ruled out, as its exercise by the inhabitants of the islands would cause the “disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity” of Argentina. It is important to note that Resolution 1514 (XV) “Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples” stipulates in paragraph 6 “Any attempt aimed at partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. The General Assembly of the United Nations included this doctrine in the Malvinas Question - it applies the principle of territorial integrity taking into account the interests and NOT the wishes of the population of the islands - in its resolution 2065 (XX) of 1965 which was reaffirmed by other resolutions in 1973 (3160, XXVIII) 1976 (31/49), 1982 (37/9), 1983 (38/12), 1984 (39/6), 1985 (40/21), 1986 (41/40), 1987 (42/19) y 1988 (43/25). They all declare the existence of a sovereignty dispute and reaffirm the invitation made in resolution 2065 (XX) to the Parties “to proceed without delay with the negotiations recommended by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the problem, bearing in mind the provisions and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations and of General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) and the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)“. As of 2004, by virtue of a process of revitalisation of the General Assembly, the Argentine government ensured that the Malvinas Islands Question appeared on the permanent agenda and in the Document of the General Assembly Bureau. The topic may be discussed subject to prior notification by a Member State.


Jorge Taiana, Argentina's Foreign Minister, contends that Brits have been “planted” on what he called "sovereign Argentine territory". This, he argued, makes any claim to self-determination on the islands invalid.[1]

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