By J. Brock (FINN)
As reported in the South American and Spanish press, Falklands MLA Gavin Short has visited several countries in South American countries this past week.
His message following the March Referendum was simple residents of the Falkland Islands do not want to be Argentine. He addressed to the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner from El Salvador with the stern message.
"The people of the Falkland Islands have spoken. You (Fernandez) traditionally ignore us because Argentina wants one thing - to quickly take over the country. Sorry, Madam, but we are not going to give way and have no desire to be Argentine. Nor do we want have any other nationality but ours in the Falkland Islands, "said Short in a press conference.
MLA Short and a young Falklands representative, Stacey Bragger, concluded their Latin American Tour in El Salvador. While in South and Central America they explained the Falklands point of view, expressed in a referendum held on 10 and 11 March where 99.8% of the Islands population voted to remain a United Kingdom Overseas Territory.
Argentina has claimed sovereignty over the territory since 1833 and in 1982 sent troops to the Falklands, sparking war and Argentine surrender.
We are not leaving the Falklands and will continue our right to self-determination for years to come, said Gavin Short.
He noted that for the Falklands right now "cannot" think of being independent of the UK, because they have a "neighbor (Argentina) makes that impossible."
Besides visiting El Salvador, Mr Short and Mr Bragger visited Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica with the same message.
Both MLA Short and Mr Bragger acknowledged that not all Latin American countries received them and said the situation was very sad.
"Personally, I would not want to force any government in the region to join us, said Mr Short. It was not the intention of this trip," Mr Short continued.
Sources consulted by Efe merely confirmed that in San Salvador there was no official activity with representatives of the Falklands.
Said Mr Short, this was a very quick tour through the region to talk with the different sectors of society and show our side of the story.
We acknowledge the intelligence and integrity of the Governments we consulted, said Mr Short. However, we cannot deny that they have given credence to the Argentine point of view, built on lies, without looking at the argument on the Falklands side, said Mr Short.
In El Salvador, the Falklands representatives met with presidential candidates for the 2014 elections Norman Quijano and Elias Antonio Saca of the Nationalist Republican Alliance and a group of minor parties, all right, respectively, said Linda Cross, Ambassador of the United Kingdom in the country.
They also met with "representatives of the Legislature," he said, without elaborating.
(100X Translation Service)