A note on the Falklands

by The Editor

As a supplement to the fiction piece on the Falklands, the author of this blogs writes this post to support President Obama’s actions regarding Falkland Islands negotiations.

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama expressed support for the conflicts formed around the Falkland Islands to be discussed and solved between the two countries at hand. After a historic speech in Westminster Hall reaffirming the alliance between the U.K. and the U.S., some British Members of Parliament jumped to the unfortunate conclusion that the U.S. was turning its back on Britain.

On January 31, 2012, the prolific blogger and ever resilient MP from Hexham, Guy Opperman, said in Westminster Hall:

I have great respect for President Obama, and he is truly a groundbreaking politician and a leader of men; he is taking things forward tremendously in America. On this particular issue, however, I do not respect his decision, and am most concerned that it appears to have been made without full assessment of the UN rules on self-determination.

The MP referred to a State Department publication which allegedly called the Falklands the ‘Malvinas’. The author of this piece could not find such publication, despite efforts to do so.

Below are the U.S. government’s responses to inquiries on the Falklands.

This is a problem between two of our partners. We do not want to change our position (…) We prefer that both countries negotiate a diplomatic solution in that matter. — Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta S. Jacobson

This is a bilateral issue that needs to be worked out directly between the governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom. We encourage both parties to resolve their differences through dialogue in normal diplomatic channels.

We recognize de facto United Kingdom administration of the islands but take no position regarding sovereignty. — State Department briefing – January 20, 2012

While the support of the U.K. is not as explicitly strong as it has been in previous administrations, the common narrative is support for both parties. President Obama recognizes that Britain will never sit down at the negotiating table with Argentina, and consequently attempts to strengthen relationships with South American countries. Now Brazil, the South American country that just overtook the U.K. as the sixth largest economy, is pressured by Argentina to support the cause for the Falkland’s separation from the U.K.. President Obama’s pseudo-support of the negotiations may simply be an attempt to silence Argentina and strengthen relations.

When called upon to comment on the topic, David Cameron was hesitant to denounce the State Department’s actions, but instead reaffirmed his calls for self-determination.  The two leaders will see each other from March 13-14 to discuss this, amongst other topics.