Argentina Still Try and Claim the Falklands and will Sue any Energy Companies there
Argentina's Foreign Minister Hector Timerman has stated that they will continue legal action against any company that looks to extract oil or natural gas from the Falkland Islands.
"We will continue to seek legal action against (these) hydrocarbon companies ... they are stealing the natural resources of Argentina," he said.
What do Argentina hope to gain? How can they still dispute the ownership of the islands?
The Falkland Islands where uninhabited when discovered by Europeans in the 16th century.
France then established the first colony on the islands in 1764. A year later, and unaware of the French colony, a British captain established a British settlement on a different island. The French then left their island in 1766 allowing the Spanish to take control. In 1770 the Spanish then attacked the British island forcing its occupants to flee, but a year later the British were back to reestablish their claim and Port Egmont became an important British port-of-call for ships in the area.
In 1776, the British withdrew its forces from the island due to the upcoming American Civil War, yet British citizens remained, and the islands continued to be a part of the commonwealth.
In 1780 the Spanish then arrived back at the islands proclaiming their own sovereignty, destroying the British colony, and forcing the British islanders to leave.
The Spanish then ruled the islands from Buenos Aires until they left in 1811 due to various pressures from war at home and also various colonies calling for independence. The Spanish still claimed ownership of the islands (much like the British had), although upon their departure the British citizens moved back to the islands.
The first Argentine claim to the islands occurred in 1820 when an American colonel David Jewett arrived on one of the island with 40 soldiers and claimed them for the area that would become Argentina. He spent less than 6 months there before leaving.
In 1832 Argentina tried to establish a penal colony on the island, but upon arrival the soldiers mutinied and killed the captain.
In 1833 the British returned with a naval task force to permanently re-take control of the islands.
During the first and second world wars the Falklands offered an important port for the British Navy.
In 1975 Argentine delegates at the London meeting of the International Parliamentary Union condemned Britain's "act of international piracy" in establishing a colony in the Falkland Islands.
In 1976, after a military junta took control of the country, Argentina covertly established a military base on Southern Thule. It was discovered by the British in 1977, and they submitted a diplomatic protest. Nevertheless Argentine aircraft and warships harassed ships fishing in Falkland waters.
Argentina invaded the islands on 2 April 1982. For a brief period, the Falkland Islands found themselves under Argentine control. The British responded with an expeditionary force that landed seven weeks later and, after fierce fighting, forced the Argentine garrison to surrender on 14 June 1982. The junta that had taken control of Argentina and led the attack on the islands was toppled soon after.
Within the Falkland Islands Margeret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister at the time, is considered a heroine because of the determination of her response to the Argentine invasion. The islands celebrate Margaret Thatcher Day on every 10 January, and named a street Thatcher Drive after her, in Stanley.
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