Newspapers in Argentina have added their weight to a campaign calling for the invasion of the Falkland Islands, which are still administered by the United Kingdom.
Newspapers in Argentina have added their weight to a campaign calling for the invasion of the Falkland Islands, which are still administered by the United Kingdom. The Peronist evening newspaper "Cronica" published a front page article on Monday (16 December) calling on the Argentine Government to invade the islands to restore them to Argentine control.
The next day the newspaper said that since its appeal for volunteers for an invasion force, more than three hundred young men had signed up in the paper's offices, and it had received significant support from several organisations.
On the same day (17 December) an opposition member in the Argentine Congress submitted a bill which would authorise the Government to use force to take control of the islands, which are known in Argentina as the Malvinas Islands. The bill noted that under the constitution, Congress alone can authorise the Government to "declare war or make peace."
Last month the Argentina press had reacted strongly to report from London that the British Government might be considering granting exploration rights to a Canadian oil company off the Falkland Islands. If a rich oil field does exist off the islands, the issue will become more of a significant problem for the British and Argentina governments. No new oil reserves have been discovered in Argentina in the last five years, and existing reserves will run out within eleven years.
Britain and Argentina were ordered by the United Nations in 1965 to hold talks on the sovereignty issue. As a result of the talks, communications have been established between the windswept islands and the Argentina mainland, but Britain has insisted it will not hand over the islands against the wishes of the Falkland's two thousand inhabitants.
The islanders are mostly descendants of Welsh and Scottish immigrants, and they are reported to want to remain under British rule. But with the possibility of oil being discovered in the area, Argentina's military and nationalistically minded Peronist leaders, may now view the islands as something more than jus an irritant to their national pride.