Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Falklands stay British

Hugo Chav-ez is trying to stir up trouble by inflamatory lingo over the Falkland Islands.

Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has called Tony Blair "the main ally of Hitler" and called on him to return the Falkland Islands to Argentina.

As part of an ongoing verbal dispute, Mr Chavez said the islands belonged to Argentina and demanded Britain give them back.

Mr Blair infuriated Mr Chavez earlier this week when he said the Venezuelan president should respect the rules of the international community.

Mr Chavez responded to Mr Blair's comments by branding him "a pawn of imperialism" and "the main ally of Hitler" - a reference to American President George W Bush.

In his latest attack on Mr Blair, Mr Chavez said Britain had violated the sovereignty of various nations - citing the case of the Falklands.

"We have to remember the Falklands, how they were taken away from the Argentinians," he said.

Speaking in the western Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, he added: "Those islands are Argentina's. Return them, Mr Blair. Those islands are Argentina's." .
Chavez is obviously clueless of history. Spain, France and Britain all had possession of the islands or parts thereof decades before Argentina existed as a nation. Britain withdrew in 1774, Spain (which had taken over the French settlement) withdrew in 1811. Both left plaques asserting their sovereignty over the islands.

The Argentinians didn't mount a settlement attempt until 1820, and it only lasted until 1831, when it was destroyed by the Americans. After this, the British reasserted their sovereignty, repossessed the islands, and have held them ever since.

Consequently, Argentina's historical claim to the islands is virtually non-existent. But so is their contemporary claim, since the island's population overwhelmingly wants to remain British. Of course, what the people want is of very little concern to dictators like Chavez, but hey, Chavvy old boy, if you want to "liberate" them, why not give it a shot? You're due for an ass-kicking, just as the Argentine junta was in 1982.

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