President Obama was effusive in his praise for the Special Relationship when he visited London recently, but his administration continues to slap Britain in the face over the highly sensitive Falklands issue. Washington signed on to a “draft declaration on the question of the Malvinas Islands” passed by unanimous consent by the General Assembly of the Organisation of American States (OAS) at its meeting in San Salvador yesterday, an issue which had been heavily pushed by Argentina. In doing so, the United States sided not only with Buenos Aires, but also with a number of anti-American regimes including Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua.
The declaration calls for Argentina and Great Britain to enter into negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, a position which London has long viewed as completely unacceptable. It also comes in the wake of increasing aggression by the Kirchner regime in the past 18 months, including threats to blockade British shipping in the South Atlantic.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear in a joint press conference with Cristina Kirchner in Buenos Aires in March 2010 that the Obama administration fully backs Argentina’s calls for negotiations over the Falkands, handing her Argentine counterpart a significant propaganda coup. The State Department has also insultingly referred to the Islands in the past as the Malvinas, the Argentine name for them.
It is hugely disappointing that the Obama administration has chosen once again to side not only with the increasingly authoritarian regime in Argentina, but also with an array of despots in Latin America against British interests.
Regrettably, the U.S. has long neglected its friends and neighbors to the south, but this is not the time, nor the issue, to start getting chummy. The only reason Argentina is interested in the Falklands is for its potentially huge oil reserves. The people who live on the islands have been Brits for their entire lives and would be crazy to prefer the rule of the corrupt, despotic, and thieving Argentine government.