Argentina to demand a review of the South Atlantic fisheries agreement
President Cristina Fernandez announced that Argentina will request the review of the South Atlantic fisheries agreement, because the UK and the Falklands are not abiding by the ‘protocols’ signed in the early nineties.
The move is complementary to the announced review of the 1999 three-side agreement (UK, Argentina and Falklands government) which among other issues allowed for the resumption of an air link with the continent, more precisely once a week with Lan Chile to Punta Arenas, and with once a month call at Rio Gallegos.
Cristina Fernandez made the announcement earlier this week when the launching of the tender for the construction of a Malvinas Museum to be finalized by August next year in the same compound of the former Navy Mechanical School, once a notorious torture and persons disappearance centre, now partly converted into the Memory Museum and managed by the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo organization
“They are not complying with the agreement signed on fisheries collaboration in the Malvinas Islands zone”, said President Cristina Fernandez.
Argentina complains that since 2006 the Falklands government awards 25 year fishing licences, instead of the one year version, “which ultimately has helped the companies catching in Malvinas and Argentine waters”.
Argentina with legislation has tried to force fishing companies operating in Argentina to give up their Falklands interests.
The Argentine president then complained that UN resolutions regarding the Falklands/Malvinas are being ignored, “but we should not despair. On the contrary we have advanced very much because from a cause which seemed limited to a ‘nationalistic’ claim, it has been converted into a cause for the defence of fisheries and energy resources, not only of the Argentines, but from the whole region”.
She added that it’s not only a matter of “territorial integrity, which is crucial for the country, but also the unrestricted defence of its natural resources, its history, memory, geography and zoology”.
Finally the President also recalled the so called “Operation Condor” back in 1966 when an aircraft from Aerolineas Argentinas was hijacked and forced to land in the Falklands and then flew the Argentine flag.
“I remember it was commotional and highly emotional, it was seen as a Peronist rally at the time”, she said.
The president also had words of praise for General Jorge Leal who was specially invited to the ceremony. General Leal headed the first Argentine ground expedition to the South Pole in 1965 (Operation 90) and was also the first president of the Military Centre for Democracy.
Operation 90 was conducted by ten soldiers from the Argentine Army under then Colonel Leal. Since the Antarctic Treaty prohibits any military activity in Antarctica to date Operation 90 remains as the only documented military land maneuver on Antarctic territory.
The operation was performed in secret so as not to upset the superpowers of the time, the US and the Soviet Union.