Malvinas Islands: Facts and Fictions

Let´s set the record straight


September 2015

Fact Nº 6: The UK Increased its Rhetoric About Other Topics Relating to Malvinas

As well as the top five facts you have just read, in recent years, the UK increased its rhetoric about other topics relating to the Malvinas Islands.

The Intercept revealed how the UK spied on Argentina government officials and how it decided to carry out a plan to shape public opinion in Latin America, by creating institutions, programs and plans funded by the UK government. It had also launched a Communications campaign that includes both traditional and social media.

The illegal government authorized illegal hydrocarbon activities in the islands. It had also granted numerous illegal licences for fishing. Both actions were carried out against UN Resolutions. Unilateral actions are not allowed.

The UK has increased drastically the military presence in the Islands, also in contravention of UN Resolutions. It is a matter of importance and of security for all countries in South America… and also in the Southern part of Africa.

The consequences of the British unilateral acts are not limited to the present, since they will continue to have an impact in the future generations.

The peaceful recovery of the Malvinas Islands, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the Surrounding Maritime Areas is a permanent and unrelinquished objective of the Argentine people.


Fact Nº 5: Neither the UN nor any Other International Organizations Recognized the so-called “Referendum”

The Malvinas Islands are in a different situation from that of the classical colonial case. De facto and de jure, they belonged to the Argentine Republic in 1833 and were governed by Argentine authorities and inhabited by Argentine settlers. These authorities were ejected by violence and not allowed to remain in the territory. Most of them had been forced to leave after the 1832 attack. On the contrary, they were replaced during those years of usurpation, by a colonial administration and a population of British origin.

Thus there is no “people subjected to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation“, as required by the UN General Assembly 1514 (XV). Instead, there is a temporary population made up of British settlers that occupies the land and one that cannot be used by the colonial power in order to claim the right to apply the principle of self-determination. The basic principle of self-determination should not be used in order to transform an illegal possession into full sovereignty under the mantle of protection which would be given by the United Nations. To allow the British settlers on the Islands to decide on a sovereignty dispute to which their country is a party would distort the very noble spirit of self-determination of people suffering colonialism.

The inhabitants of the islands are British subjects who have stayed on the islands, under the protection a strict migratory policy that has discriminated systematically against mainland Argentines.

The unilateral act that only the UK describes as “referendum” and was held by the inhabitants that the UK settled in the Malvinas Islands was intended to ask them about questions that gloss over the true legal status of the islands. The predictable result confirmed that the subjects in question are British, does not modify the colonial nature of the issue and cannot bring an end to the dispute. Contrary to what the UK claims, there were not “international observers“, but eight individuals acting in their exclusively personal capacity. Neither the UN nor any other international organization recognized this illegal move.

The UN and several international bodies have continued to call both Argentina and the United Kingdom to solved the dispute pursuant to UN Resolutions.

Regional organizations, such as Mercosur, Unasur and Alba rejected the so-called “referendum” and reiterated their support for the legitimate rights of the Argentine Republic in the sovereignty dispute.

Finally, in another move to distract the public opinion, the propaganda booklet that is being distributed on social media  argues that the dispute is “settled”. This is false.

Fact Nº 4: Great Britain Never Possessed the Totality of the Archipielago

In 1790, upon the signature of the Treaty of San Lorenzo del Escorial, Great Britain undertook not to establish any settlements on either the Eastern or the Western coasts of South America or on the adjacent islands already occupied by Spain, with was the case of the Malvinas Islands. Spain appointed a succession of 32 governors until 1811, when the garrison at Puerto Soledad was required from Montevideo to defend the Monarchy at the beginning of the War of Independence. The first autonomous government of the United Provinces of the River Plate referred to the Malvinas Islands in various administrative acts. Malvinas were integral part of their territory, inherited from Spain by succession of States under the utis possidentis juris principle of 1810.

Officer Jewett took possession of the Malvinas Islands on behalf of the United Provinces of the River Plate at a public ceremony in Puerto Soledad, which was attended by sealers and whalers of different nationalities. There was no official comment from Great Britain, as Argentina´s possession was public, effective and peaceful.

In 1829, the Duke of Wellington stated: “I have perused the enclosed papers respecting the Falkland Islands. It is not clear to me that we have ever possessed the sovereignty of all those islands. The Convention certainly goes no further than to restore to us Port Gumont, which we abandoned nearly sixty years ago.”

In reality, Great Britain never possessed the totality of the archipelago.

Argentina´s officials had never had any doubt that the islands belong to Argentina. During the XIX century, Argentina´s maps reflected Argentina´s sovereignty over the islands. Among others, the 1882 Latzina Map depicts the islands as “Islas Malvinas” and part of Argentina. The islands are colored in the same pale beige used for Buenos Aires (this map depicts different opportunities for immigrants; regions apt for farming in whole Argentine territory are depicted with different shades of color). In 1886, Argentina´s Geographical Institute published a map depicting Tierra del Fuego Governance which included Malvinas. In 1918, the islands are presented as “Islas Malvinas” and hence part of Argentina on a map issued by the Agricultural Ministry that depicted the whole Argentine territory in different shades and colors according to degree of agricultural development and availability of railroad networks.

Fact Nº 3: At No Time Did England Object To the Argentine Settlement

At no time did England object to the Argentine settlement of the Malvinas, despite the fact that extremely important legal acts had taken place between the two countries, such as the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation of February 1825.

This instrument does not contain any British reservation whatsoever on Malvinas Islands, despite the action in 1820 and other acts that the Government had carried out and authorized regarding the islands.

In forcing any argument to seek to justify that Argentina did what it never did- i.e. drop the claim- the UK even distorts the scope of the 1850 Convention between Argentina and Great Britain. This agreement was meant to put an end to the naval blockade imposed by the UK and France in the River Plate and all its provisions relate to the need to solve the situation in the River Plate and bring back trade and political stability. It has no relation whatsoever with the Malvinas Islands. So much so that in 1849, after signing the Convention, Juan Manuel de Rosas referred to the sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands in his message to the Legislative House.

The issue remained unsettled and this was recognized by the British Foreign Secretary in 1849. Argentina, meanwhile, continued to raise the issue at different levels of government and it became a subject of debate in the Argentine Congress. In 1884, in view of the lack of response to the repeated protests, Argentina proposed to take the issue to international arbitration, which was also rejected by the United Kingdom without any reasons provided.

Fact Nº 2: The British Government Designed “Britishness” of the Place

The act of force of 1833 was part of the imperialistic policies of the European Powers in the Americas, Africa and Asia during the XIX century. The invasion of the Malvinas as well as the two British attempts to invade Buenos Aires in 1806 and 1807 must be understood in this context, i.e. the British pursuit of a strategic point in the South Atlantic. Argentina was expelled from the islands in 1833 when Great Britain invaded the islands. The Argentine authorities settled there were forced to leave by the British fleet. Most of the settlers in Puerto Soledad had had to leave for Montevideo after the American attack of 1832.

After the Invasion, the British Government designed the composition of the population of the islands by importing settlers of British origin as part of a colonization plan which persists to this day. As the British Secretary of Foreign Affairs recognized in his letter of 5 March 1842: “Her Majesty having in the exercise of the Sovereign Rights, directed a permanent system of British Colonization to be established in those Islands.” As a result of this colonization plan and strict immigration control, Argentines from the mainland are not allowed to reside or own property in the islands thus preserving the fabricated “Britishness” of the place.

Contrary to what the UK describes as “free will” immigration not restricted to British Nationals, the plan to colonize the islands with settlers of British origin was expressly designed by the Commissioners of the Crown Lands and Emigration as early as 1840; non-British were only allowed to stay and work in farming but not as “settlers”, a condition only reserved for British nationals entitled to reside and own land.

The unbound booklet of the Illegal Government of the Islands posts photos of families who settled in the Malvinas Islands last century. Argentines were not allowed to reside or buy land after the invasion.

Fact Nº 1: The Royal Navy Invaded Argentina

In 1520, the Malvinas Islands were discovered by the Magellan’s expedition. All the Southern part of the Americas remained under Spanish sovereignty pursuant to several treaties signed during the historical period, such as the 1670 American Treaty between Spain and England. In 1764, France established the Port Louis settlement in Isla Soledad. Spain protested and France withdrew in 1767, in a recognition of Spain`s better title. England had already recognized Spain sovereignty over Malvinas when it declined to carry out an expedition in 1749 due to Spain`s demand.

In 1820, the United Provinces of the River Plate sent Colonel David Jewett to take possession of the islands, as reflected in international newspapers of that time. The Argentine government took several actions in support of its sovereignty over the islands, including the appointment of governors, enactment of legislation on fisheries and granting international concessions. In 1825, Great Britain recognised Argentina as a sovereign state, and made no reservations regarding Argentina`s exercise of sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, which was public and peaceful.

On 3 January 1833, the Clio Corvette of the Royal Navy of Great Britain invaded the Malvinas Islands on behalf of the Crown, and took over Puerto Soledad by force.

On 15 January 1833, the Argentine Government protested to the British Charge d`Affairs in Buenos Aires, who replied he “lacked instructions”.

On 24 April 1833, the Argentine representative in London presented a note of protest to His Majesty’s Government, which he reiterated on 17 June 1833, in a lengthy and documented memorandum.

Since then, Argentina has repeated its protests against the act of force and the illegal occupation.

Introduction: These are the Facts

There is a new propaganda booklet produced by the FIG, in which they point out “Facts and Fictions” of the Ruda Statement.

All of them, are very cheap. It is worrisome how much resources are being spent on producing propaganda, instead on trying to build bridges.

But first things first: the “Alegato Ruda” – which was delivered 50 years ago- is still one of the masterpieces of International Law.  Ruda`s 8.000-word speech was celebrated by the international community, which endorsed Argentina`s position. Ambassador Ruda gave a detailed account of the historical facts before and after the occupation of part of the Argentine territory and revealed that the British position is only based on force and a systematic colonization plan that it seeks to present today as relating to a “right” that the UK only describes as a “principle”: that of the self-determination of peoples under colonial subjugation.


This year, the Ruda Statement turns 50 and the British Government has done nothing but try to discredit Argentina`s solid position. Instead of complying with international law and UN resolutions, the UK distors reality in an attempt to force a malicious version of “their” story. Last week, they started a campaign in which Ambassador Ruda is being attacked.

Ambassador Ruda was an outstanding diplomat, who had the honor to present Argentina`s case at the United Nations. Because of his action, the world recognized Argentina`s rights and the need to settle a sovereignity dispute whose existence the UK simply denied… (and continues to deny). As a result of Ruda`s statement, the General Assemby of the UN adopted a resolution on the “Question of the Malvinas Islands.”

I present the true facts on the Question of the Malvinas Islands to contribute to set the record straight.

Truth Will Always Prevail.

September 2015.

Hecho N° 10: A pesar de lo que el Reino Unido afirma, el ejercicio de soberanía de Argentina sobre las Malvinas era público. El Times de Londres lo confirmó el 3 de agosto 1821.

Panfletos británicos y un reciente artículo de opinión publicado en un dudoso medio de noticias revelan que la campaña de propaganda del Reino Unido ha llegado a niveles alarmantes: el Reino Unido ahora distorsiona los hechos y los documentos a los cuales el Gobierno británico ha prestado históricamente su aquiescencia.

Después de la Revolución de Mayo de 1810, las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata llevaron a cabo actos demostrativos del ejercicio efectivo de la soberanía sobre las Islas Malvinas. Como ejemplo, hay correspondencia de José de San Martín quien, en 1816, solicitó el envío a la capital de las Provincias Unidas de los presos en Patagones y Malvinas.

El acto de posesión de las islas ejercido en 1820 por el Coronel David Jewett en representación de la Argentina, entonces Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata, es otro ejemplo de importancia primordial. Tanto es así que se convirtió en otro blanco de la propaganda británica en su intento de distorsionar la realidad y la verdad histórica.

A principios de 1820, el Coronel David Jewett, oficial naval nombrado oficialmente por el Gobierno de las Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata fue enviado a tomar posesión de las Malvinas. Balleneros y pescadores de diferentes países participaron en el evento.

Este hecho tuvo amplia repercusión en periódicos internacionales de la época a través de una “Circular” que informó al mundo de la toma oficial de posesión de las islas “en el nombre del Supremo Gobierno de las Provincias Unidas de América del Sur”.

No sólo “The Times” de Londres publicó la circular el 3 de agosto 1821, sino también “El Redactor” de Cádiz, España, y el Salem Gazette. El Reino Unido se mantuvo en silencio y jamás protestó ante este acto soberano.


El Gobierno argentino adoptó varias medidas en apoyo de su soberanía sobre las islas, incluyendo el nombramiento de gobernadores, la promulgación de legislación pesquera y el otorgamiento de concesiones internacionales. La propaganda británica parece ignorar todos estos hechos.

Así como el hecho de que, en 1825, Gran Bretaña reconoció a la Argentina como Estado soberano e independiente y no hizo ninguna reserva en relación con el ejercicio de la soberanía de la Argentina sobre las Islas Malvinas, que para entonces no sólo era pacífico sino, además, público.

Es sólo ahora que la propaganda británica niega la existencia misma de la “Circular”, publicada en The Times y acusa a Argentina de una maniobra. Cualquier persona sensata interesada puede confirmar la autenticidad de este hecho consultando los archivos de The Times del 3 de agosto 1821, donde encontrará que la Circular sí fue publicada y nunca fue protestada por el Reino Unido.

La “Circular” aparece en el extremo inferior derecho de la hoja en la versión papel (The Times, Londres, viernes 3 de agosto 1821). Si la “Circular” fue posteriormente reproducida fuera de su formato original, ello no disminuye la importancia vital de este hecho ni su autenticidad. Cualquier reclamo en contrario es simplemente falso.


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