By World News Report Bureau
Nearly 33 years after the Falkland war– Argentine President Cristina de Kirchner ordered the declassification of all secret documents on the 1982 War with Britain. A presidential decree to this effect was also counter- signed by the Cabinet Chief Anibal Fernández and Defense Minister Agustin Rossi.
President Fernandez formally announced this move on April 2, the 33rd anniversary of the invasion in Falklands-Malvinas by Argentine troops.
A ten-week war was fought between Argentina and United Kingdom over the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands in the South Atlantic.
Britain was controlling the Falkland Island since 1833. Buenos Aires insisted that the Island was part of the territorial legacy from the Spanish empire and hence belonged to them.
It all began on Friday 2 April 1982 when Argentina invaded Falkland toestablish its sovereignty and occupy the island. The British retaliated by making an amphibious assault. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.
Argentina had to return the islands to the British. But not before 649 Argentine, 255 British combatants and three Falkland civilians lost their lives.
Since that day onwards Falkland has remained a bone of contention between the two nations.
The dispute over Falklands took a new turn in 2010 with a large volume of offshore oil and gas deposits in the islands. This in a way reopened the whole controversy.
London refuses to discuss the question of Falkland’s sovereignty on the ground that the natives are in favor of remaining British subjects as proven by a 2013 referendum.
Argentina, however, insists that a 1965 UN resolution had described the British occupation in Falklands as an act of colonialism and demanded that both parties resolve the dispute amicably through dialogue.
Accordingly Argentina claims rights to the continental shelf of Falklands while Britain rejects it.
An uneasy truce prevails over the matter. Argentina reportedly threatened to prosecute firms drilling oil near the Falkland Islands in Argentina on the ground that it was “a huge environmental risk”. This became a serious issue particularly when the companies registered in London found oil and gas in remote fields.
Against this backdrop former U.S. intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden reportedly added fuel to the fire last week when he disclosed documents to the effect that London spied on Argentina’s efforts to claim Falkland Islands.
Snowden’s documents revealed that the British GCHQ developed a plan that involved both intelligence collection and “effects operations” to spy on Argentina.
The British authorities deny such move and instead are reportedly strengthening the military garrison in Falkland in response to an ostensible Argentine “live threat”.