The Heritage Foundation has released an interesting YouTube cartoon regarding the Falkland Islands and the Obama Administration’s refusal to back self-determination for the islanders. The islanders are holding a referendum today and tomorrow to vote on whether they want to remain a British territory or become part of Argentina.
The United States has traditionally supported self-determination. However, in this case, the United States seems to be backing the Argentinians who want bi-lateral talks with the UK and a UN resolution on “decolonization.” The Falklands and their residents are different from most colonies in that the “native peoples” are still direct descendants of the original settlers.
Colonialism was a reasonable framework to apply to European colonies in
Africa and Asia, but it is utterly inappropriate to apply it to the
Falkland Islands, where virtually the entire population is of British
descent. The Argentine argument that Britain is exercising “19th-century
colonialism” by allowing the people of the Falkland Islands to govern
themselves as they see fit illustrates the extent to which the Argentine
position rests on nothing more than outdated and historically erroneous
As Jan Cheek, a member of the Falklands Legislative Assembly, pointed
out in response: “My grandchildren are the eighth generation of my
family to have lived here, which is considerably longer than the
Argentine president’s family have been living in Argentina.”
I certainly could see why the Falkland Islanders would prefer to not be part of Argentina. Even the Argentinians are protesting against the high inflation, corruption, and crime in their country. One just needs to read Fernando Ferfal Aguire aka Ferfal’s book on surviving the economic collapse in Argentina to know that becoming part of Argentina is not exactly a smart proposition. Indeed, Ferfal now lives in Northern Ireland.
I can’t explain the Obama Administration’s tilt towards Argentina other than to think it is a reflection of the anti-West ideology that Ann Dunham fed her son when he was growing up. It certainly makes a mockery of the special relationship that has existed between Great Britain and the United States as well as making a mockery of our traditions.
UPDATE: The vote tally is in and as expected the Falkland Islanders have voted to retain their current status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. There was a 92% voter turnout.
Out of the 1,517 votes cast, only three voted No on the question of retaining their affiliation with the UK. This is an even more lopsided vote than that late darling of the Socialist Left Hugo Chavez could achieve in Venezuela! I wonder what Secretary of State John Kerry will make of that.