Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Falklands Conflict Continues to Simmer

« Argentine President Cristina Kirchner continues to defy Britain and lay claim to the Falkland Islands.
(Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images)

March 28, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
The Argentine Senate on March 16 unanimously approved a bill designed to prevent Argentine companies from cooperating with oil exploration around the Falkland Islands.
The following week, Rockhopper Exploration announced that oil drilling around the Islands would likely be commercially viable.
Argentina continues to claim the Falkland Islands, which would include the oil around them, based on the fact that it had a colony on the Islands a couple hundred years ago. It opposes all British drilling in the waters around the Islands, claiming them for itself.
The bill will bar any companies or people from taking part in exploring for or exploiting hydrocarbons around the waters of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Although the bill was proposed by a member of the opposition, it fits perfectly with the agenda of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who has aggressively pursued her country’s dubious claims to the island.
Kirchner may act aggressively toward the Falklands to try to win votes in October’s presidential election, says expert in Latin American Politics at Rice University Prof. Mark Jones. “Kirchner will use the Falklands issue to score political points with the electorate as well as to distract public opinion from topics that are potentially damaging for the government,” he said.
Relations between Britain and Argentina are so low that Argentina doesn’t even have an ambassador to Britain. The British Telegraph newspaper states that “reports in Buenos Aires now indicate that none will be appointed this year.”
Meanwhile, shares in Rockhopper Exploration jumped 32.6 percent on the news that an appraisal well it had drilled revealed a substantial column of oil.
The Trumpet has long forecast that Britain will lose the Falklands. If Rockhopper finds significant oil reserves, the Falklands could attract more attention both from Argentina and the European Union, which would also like to control this strategically significant outpost.