There are quite a number of misrepresentations and misunderstandings about the Falklands that are being perpetuated here. Before making assumptions it
is wise to look at the facts.
In the Nootka convensions of 1790, Britain ceded all rights to the islands to Spain, without any conditions attached. When Argentina gained
Independence from Spain in 1860 it became sovereign ruler of the Falklands due to the internationally recognised uti possidetis juris principle.
Britain was quick to congratulate the newly formed Argentina and even entered into trade agreements with them that specifically recognise Argentines
legal claim of the Islands. When the Argentinian government exercised its right of control over the islands and prevented the illegal poaching of
seals by Americans, The US, in violation of the Monroe Doctrine, retaliated by sacking the Argentinian colony and destroying the Base there. Later the
British invaded and expelled the Argentinian colonists, repatriating them to Montevideo.
Argentina has never relinquished it's legal claim over the islands and international law is on their side. The British did indeed invade and
illegally occupy the islands and form a British colony. The UN commission on decolonization has repeatedly called upon the British to renew
negotiations for the decolonization of the islands. Self rule only applies when the local population has been oppressed by colonial rulers, and not
when it is a transplanted population as in this case. All Argentinian inhabitants were forced out at gunpoint and British rule has made it illegal for
anyone from Argentina to live there to this day.
Released documents from the British government clearly show that they have been planning on an eventual had back and that they recognise their claim
of ownership has no legal basis. The hand back would most likely be based on the same principle as the Hong Kong handback In fact, when the British
first took control over the islands, British judges refused to hear criminal cases brought fourth by the new Colonial rulers, because they rightfully
stated that British had no legal authority there.
I have documented a great deal of research on this subject in another thread here on ATS if you would like to see the specific details. Go to this
thread and begin on page 5. Argentines legal claim to the Falklands
As for Why the British value the Falklands... Well, natural resource exploitation, having a base in the southern seas, closeness to Antarctica, and in
general a stiff attitude to the end of the British Empire and misplaced pride, all contribute.
When an arrogant Argentinian president foolishly started the War for the Islands, Margret Thatcher, who was in a weak political position at home, saw
this as an opportunity to strengthen her position. Right after the War, both the UN and the US called upon Britain to renew negotiations for the
Decolonization of the Islands. The foolish president of Argentina was soundly thrown out of office in the next election, because his violent attitude
had set back any chance of resolution for generations.
[edit on 3/9/07 by Terapin]