"Squatters" claim Malvinas, De Kirchner asks Pope Francis to intervene

Squatters Claim Malvinas, De Kirchner asks Pope Francis to Intervene

19 March, 16:55 2 

Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has asked fellow countryman Pope Francis, a vocal proponent of Argentinean sovereignty over Las Malvinas, for his intervention in solving the question of the disputed Las Malvinas, or as the British call them the Falklands. The question over the islands brings to question the Catholic Church’s Doctrine of Discovery and shows that they may still be playing a role in what is nothing more than the stealing of lands. While Argentina’s claims hold more water than those of the UK, which is attempting to hold on to one of its last vestiges of empire, other questions do arise.       

The President of Argentina Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has asked the new head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis to intervene in the conflict over Las Malvinas, or the Falklands, an issue which apparently unites the Argentinean president and the spiritual leader who is also from Argentina.

One the eve of his coronation the Pope granted the president a private audience and she became the first head of state to meet with the Pope in Vatican City.

President Fernandez de Kirchner has condemned the British militarization of the South Atlantic and this was her reason for asking for the intervention of the Holy See, in particular the Pope, her hope being that the Pope may assist in opening up channels for a dialogue on the issue and averting any possible confrontation over the Argentinean territory, claimed by the United Kingdom.

The Catholic Church has intervened in conflicts in the region in the past, namely in 1978 when Pope John Paul II helped to defuse a conflict between Argentina and Chile over several islands in Patagonia and the Beagle Channel.

During the meeting with the Argentinean Pope, the first non-European Pope in 1,300 years, the president is being quoted as having said: “Now the situation is different because Britain and Argentina are two democratic countries with governments elected by the people. The only thing we ask is that we can sit down and negotiate.”

In the past Pope Francis, the former Argentinean Cardinal Bergoglio, has been vocal in his support of the sovereignty of the Las Malvinas Islands and has called for, the vindication of the soldiers who fought against Britain, saying the islands were usurped by Britain.

The question over the possession of Las Malvinas is one that is of great historical importance and goes back hundreds of years to the very invasions of the “New World” by the Europeans, to the period of the British Empire and the Catholic Church’s Doctrine of Discovery, which allowed European “Christians” to steal the lands and riches of the indigenous people’s for their respective crowns in Europe.

Since it was this Doctrine of Discovery that has allowed for Europeans to continue to possess and squabble over lands that in reality were stolen, and in the case of Las Malvinas belong to neither the Argentineans nor the British, the Pope is probably the most relevant figure to mitigate a resolution to the conflict.

If we go back to the history of the islands, they have been claimed on and off by Britain since the mid 1770s with supposed possession of the islands passing back and forth and including French and other claims. Even Luis Vernet  an Argentinean hero who was proclaimed the Military and Civil Commander of Falkland Islands and the Islands near Cape Horn by the Republic of Buenos Aires in 1829, was apparently playing both sides of the fence in his control over the islands, attempting to please both British and Argentinean interests.

The United States was also involved in the conflict culminating in the destruction of the settlement on the islands by the USS Lexington after Vernet seized three US warships, the USS Breakwater, USS Superior and USS Harriet in 1831.

When the British expelled the population of the islands in 1833, according to historical records, only 22 people remained in the major city of Port Louis. This included 12 Argentineans, 4 Charrúa Indians from Uruguay, 2 British nationals, 2 Germans, one French citizen and one person from Jamaica.

In 1834 Charles Darwin made his second visit to the islands commenting: “After the possession of these miserable islands had been contested by France, Spain, and England, they were left uninhabited. The government of Buenos Aires then sold them to a private individual, but likewise used them, as old Spain had done before, for a penal settlement. England claimed her right and seized them. The Englishman who was left in charge of the flag was consequently murdered. A British officer was next sent, unsupported by any power: and when we arrived, we found him in charge of a population, of which rather more than half were runaway rebels and murderers.”

If we judge ownership of the islands by the actual original population, leaving the indigenous issue aside for the time being, and not by the whims of ambitious colonial powers who needed the islands due to their strategic location, then of course the islands belong to Argentina and perhaps in part to the Charrúa Indians from Uruguay.

In stark reality, with all political niceties aside, if we take the account of Charles Darwin at full value then, as with North America, Australia and other empirical conquests, the question is one of whether British murderers, criminals, outcasts, pirates and every sort of scum, and their descendants, who have been squatting on lands not their own for hundreds of years, can really be called the owners of said lands.

As for Las Malvinas, asking these very descendents, as would be the case with the descendants of the same Europeans who call themselves “Americans”, who the land belongs to, is the same as asking an 8th generation squatter if they in fact own the home they live in. It is a farce.




Last Update: 11/19/2023 20:00 -0000


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