Missed Opportunity ? The Anglo - Argentine Negotiations over the Sovereignty of the Falkland Islands, 1966 - 1968

Scholars of the Anglo-Argentine dispute over the Falkland Islands agree that the origins of the 1982 war can be traced back to the preceding seventeen years of inconclusive...

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Detalles Bibliográficos
Autor principal: Gonzalez, Martin Abel
Formato: Working Paper
Lenguaje:Español
Publicado: Universidad de Belgrano Facultad de Estudios para Graduados 2012
Materias:
war
Acceso en línea:http://repositorio.ub.edu.ar/handle/123456789/725
Aporte de:Repositorio Institucional - Universidad de Belgrano (UB) de Universidad de Belgrano Ver origen
Descripción
Sumario:Scholars of the Anglo-Argentine dispute over the Falkland Islands agree that the origins of the 1982 war can be traced back to the preceding seventeen years of inconclusive bilateral negotiations. Yet, as discussed in the first chapter, the voluminous literature on the subject focuses almost exclusively on the early 1980s, with some passing attention to the 1970s. The lack of research on the confidential talks held between 1966 and 1968 is paradoxical, since most of those studies acknowledge that they enclosed a major opportunity to prevent the subsequent deadlock – an opportunity embodied in a unique British offer to transfer the sovereignty over the islands to Argentina. The hypotheses advanced to explain the “lost chance” have therefore been sketchy, although multiple. Some authors blame Argentina for having been unable to seize this historical occasion. The inflexibility and slowness of its diplomacy1, the undemocratic nature of the regime that came to power in June 19662 and the timidity of its leadership to press the British hard enough3 have been forwarded as alternative explanations. But most works focus on the British government. One expresses frustration at Whitehall’s deviousness, believing that the Foreign Office was merely attempting to silence the UN-backed Argentine claim by agreeing to launch dilatory negotiations.4 Significantly, in his memoirs the Argentine Foreign Minister Costa Méndez (who would be again in charge of the Ministry in 1982) trusts the good faith of the British career diplomats, but doubts the sincerity of the administration as a whole and accuses it of backsliding.5 Others incorrectly point to persistent British interests in the islands, either as a bridgehead to Antarctica or as a reserve of marine resources.6 Individual officials7 and the simple failure of presenting the agreement to the British public opinion8 have also been targeted. Finally, many analysts prefer to make the Falklanders themselves responsible for the breakdown of the negotiations, underlining the phenomenal effectiveness and impact of the lobby that they were able to form in Parliament in 1968.9