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Friday, April 04, 2008

Argentina: Create a distraction, and claim the Falklands... again

Following up on the Kirchners's self-induced farm crisis post:

The striking farmers have declared a month-long truce, after the government offered small farmers a rebate on the export tax and compensation for transport costs. The Kirchenr administration remains adamant about the tax increases:
The assembly followed a very different rally held Tuesday by supporters of the government of Cristina Fernández, in the Plaza de Mayo outside of the seat of government in Buenos Aires. Addressing a crowd of as many as 200,000 supporters, according to police estimates, she called for support for the measure that sparked the conflict in the first place: the hike on soy and sunflower export taxes.
The farm export tax revenue is not shared with the provinces, who need funds to improve their infrastructure.

The farmers have agreed to a truce but
they demanded greater control over the way the taxes are to be used. "We want to recuperate the country’s lost federalism," they said, criticising the fact that the export tax is not distributed among the provinces.

Juan Echeverría, who belongs to the most radical sector taking part in the protests -- a group of farmers who do not form part of any of the four major rural associations -- said the countryside "exploded" because the export tax hike was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

"Soybeans were the last refuge of profitability, after the trampling of the profit margin for milk and beef," he said.

The rural activist said that in the past few years, dozens of small dairy farms have closed down, because the subsidies shelled out by the government over the past year have gone to the large producers.
The strike has caused beef and produce shortages in the cities. Additionally,
The absence of Argentine beef and tighter Brazil and Uruguay supplies is now causing a surge of orders for Australian beef from the EU, Russia, the Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia.
Since the Kirchners need a distraction, what better way than to mark the anniversary of the Falklands war?

The Falklands (which Argentinians call the Malvinas) have been British territory since the 1830s, but come in handy at times like this.


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At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Gringo said...

History repeating as farce. Compared to previous administrations, the Kirchners have taken a much harder line towards the junta depredations of a generation past, perhaps because a number of officials high up in their administrations were Montoneros. This is rather ironic since were it not for the kidnappings, bombings, and assassinations of the Montoneros and other guerrillas during the democratically elected Peron government, the military junta would never have taken power.

Galtieri went into the Falklands to try to hush up domestic discontent with a faltering economy. It appears that Evita II is trying to do the same. Another parallel with the Kirchner administrations and the military regime is that the Kirchners have done much more “ruling from above” than the democratically elected administrations that preceded them.

There is a parallel with the FSLN and the Somozas. When in power, the FSLN repeated the strongman tactics and self-enrichment tactics of the Somozas, albeit on a smaller scale. While Somoza was content with no less than a quarter of the economy, the FSLN hierarchy were content with appropriating themselves mansions.

Those who condemn the depredations of their past enemies may and up repeating them.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

Once again, the Falklands. I stand by what I said before about Argentina's amazing talent at shooting itself in the feet, over and over and over.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger newton said...

The last time Argentineans tried to take the Falklands, they were met with a mass kicking, British style.

What are the Brits going to do this time? Hand them to Argentina on a silver platter? Knowing how P.C. they have become, don't leave that possibility off the table.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

There's also the question of whether the British can put up any resistance this time, if Argentina starts something. In the Falklands War, they had to scrape to put a real task force together. Nowadays, the Labour government has let the Royal Navy decline so much that I doubt they could do much of anything.

Sad, really.

At 9:36 PM, Anonymous peacewonk said...

Cristina is stupid enough as not to have a different take about the purported "Malvinas recovery," and keeps repeating the same old arguments that make everybody yawn. If she is not ready to offer a different and original take on the conflict aftermath, then she is condemned to be in the same stalemate. To move the conflict forward, you need creativity and courage, both lacking in her supposed "leadership style."

At 9:37 PM, Anonymous peacewonk said...


At 12:27 AM, Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Maybe there is some confusion but the British have a new airbase at Stanley, RAF Mount Pleasant, with 4Tornados and room for 12 more and forward placed ammunition and support. There is either a frigate or a destroyer, armed with cruise missile permanently assigned to the Falklands as well as two Trafalgar class nuclear subs either patrolling the South Atlantic, in port in the Falklands and permanently tasked to the islands defense. The submarines have unlimited range and a full complement of cruise missiles(range 1500 miles) as well as sonar guided torpedoes with over the horizon capabilities.

If the Argentine army can get past that screen then it has to face and island of British subjects not territorial residents which has its own volunteer defense and scouting force which is required to regularly drill with complements of an undersized mixed regiment which mainly consists of infantry capable of small unit warfare plus an SAS and SBS unit that takes turns being deployed to he Falklands.

Are the Argentinians willing to try another invasion that would most certainly be a lot more bloody than its relatively peaceful seizure of the islands last time? I doubt it but I will acknowledge that like the last war the Fuerza Aerea and the much shrunken COAN(naval air force) fight bravely and inflict most of the damage. But posturing, loud rallies and a few belated medals still do not indicate a willingness or capability of the Argentinians to do more tha lodge another complaint with the OAS.

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This pure and simple bullshit the claim for the Malvinas has nothing to do with the internal problem that my country had o is going through.
The Malvinas claim is an ancient claim so please the only one making up distraction are the brits media so fuck off suckers!

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Gringo said...

Anonymous @ 9:04 AM
¿Qué decís vos?

BTW, it was Evita III who brought up the issue of the disputed islands, not the Brits. As Pravda would have said it its heyday, it was no accident that Evita III brought up the issue of the disputed islands while being hammered over the striking farmers.

BTW, coherence trumps passion as an effective way to get your message across. Unfortunately, coherence takes more time. ¿Viste?

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Anthony (Los Angeles) said...

@ Anonymous 9:04:

Spare me the chest-thumping. Argentina's claim is based on inheritance from Spain, which received the islands from France (who settled it first) in 1766.The United Provinces of the River Plate (Argentina's predecessor) had no firm presence on the islands after independence. In fact, Luis Vernet, who was trying to settle the islands, was dealing with both the UP and Great Britain. Vernet's settlement was destroyed by the Americans in 1831 and, by the time the British reasserted sovereignty in 1833, the islands were effectively terra nullius.

By every accepted principle of international law, 170+ years of effective possession makes the islands British. Or should Argentina give back Patagonia to Chile?

Argentina's recurring fits over the Falklands are nothing more than political tantrums meant to distract from its real problems, and it's way past time for the nation to grow up.

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politicians' method of using older issues (like the Falklands or Malvinas are for Argentina) as a means of distraction is not new, and it's not an exclusive technique of Argentinian politicians either (trying to distract the public's opinion from the real present-day issue is a technique that's been used by politicians all over the world, not just in Arentina, in other words). What my fellow argentinian probably meant, somewwat passionatey, is that this technique DOES NOT fool anyone in Argentina anymore...so don't think Argentinian ordinary people, outside of politicians, are "SO" interested in the Falklands... Most of us have more important things to think about.


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