No invite for Argentina’s Kirchner to Thatcher’s funeral

The Argentine leader won't let up on her campaign to claim sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. Photo: Wikimedia

JERUSALEM  , April 12, 2013 — Britain is gearing up for Baroness Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. As is customary in the United Kingdom, protocol is as crucial as pomp and circumstance. It was therefore par for the course that one of the issues surrounding the major event pored over with care was the guest list.

Conspicuously omitted from this list of dignitaries from countries with which the UK has diplomatic relations was Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. In her stead, Argentine ambassador to Britain Alicia Castro will be invited, because Thatcher’s children said that “good manners” require it.

So far, however, the ambassador hasn’t had the “good manners” to RSVP.

Etiquette aside, it is with good reason that Fernandez de Kirchner is not welcome. This is not merely because her presidency has been marked by hostility to Western allies and friendliness with the regimes of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro, though this should suffice to have her shunned.

No, the rationale behind snubbing Argentina’s first female leader (the only thing she had in common with Thatcher) has to do with her current campaign to claim her country’s sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. And it is precisely Thatcher’s leadership during the Falklands War that is going to be the theme of her funeral, with hundreds of members of the Royal armed forces taking part in the ceremonies.

The Falklands War, which lasted from April 2 to June 14, 1982, broke out when Argentine troops invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands, an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean that has been administered by Britain since 1833.

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In 1945, Argentina appealed to the newly formed United Nations in an attempt to re-establish its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, which it had obtained in 1816, after gaining independence from Spain. The British, said Argentina, “illegally occupied” the islands in 1833.

In 1964, the UN passed a resolution calling on the Britain and Argentina to resolve this dispute. When word got out that Britain was negotiating with Argentina over sovereignty, the Falkland Islanders were furious. They liked being British and wanted to keep it that way. As a result, the UK tried to get Argentina on board with furthering their self-determination. Argentina wasn’t interested. This stalemate lasted for nearly two decades, until Argentina launched the surprise military invasion.

Thatcher’s victory was just as popular among the Falkland Islanders as the British public. And it took eight full years after the war before the UK and Argentina resumed diplomatic relations in 1990.

This has not deterred Argentina from periodically raising the sovereignty issue. Finally, in 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met with Kirchner and told her in no uncertain terms that there would be no further negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands — period.

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But Kirchner has not let up. Even last month’s referendum among the Falkland Islanders, an overwhelming majority of whom voted to remain under British rule, has not made a dent in her colonialist campaign. As it stands now, the islanders have a democratically elected government that runs everything other than defense and foreign affairs.

Kirchner’s position continues to be that the Falkland Islanders, whom she refers to as “squatters,” do not have a right to self-determination. She went so far as to dismiss their recent referendum as meaningless. Meanwhile, she unabashedly accuses Britain of imperialism.

The hypocrisy is mind-boggling, but not surprising. This is the woman who said of a brutal anti-Western, anti-Semitic supporter of terrorist groups across the globe: “Men as Chavez don’t die; they sow.”

This statement was released following the Venezuelan rogue’s death, also mourned by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other evil figures and regimes. One can only imagine what vitriol Kirchner is now spewing about the late, great Margaret Thatcher – the Iron Lady that the Argentinean president never was, nor ever will be, unfortunately for her citizens.

Britain should be saluted for not inviting her to the funeral.


Ruthie Blum is the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’”








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Ruthie Blum

 Ruthie Blum is a pull-no-punches, conservative, Israeli-American columnist for Israel Hayom,  and the author of “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the ‘Arab Spring.’”

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