Argentina’s National Sovereignty Day: “We won’t trade the islands for vaccines,” President says
Argentine President Alberto Fernández Friday insisted the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands belonged to his country, which would never trade them “neither for vaccines nor for debts.”
Fernández’s speech came at a ceremony marking another anniversary of the Vuelta de Obligado battle on November 20, 1845, in the Paraná River where an Anglo-French fleet seeking to establish a direct trade link between Great Britain and France with the provinces of Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Corrientes, despite a technical victory, sustained considerable damages after which they had no choice but to acknowledge Buenos Aires’ authority. The event has been redefined in history as a symbol of national sovereignty – hence the national Sovereignty Day holiday (which will actually be celebrated Monday).
President Fernández said the Malvinas islands were, are and will be Argentine, although some may regret it.
We are going to fight until they are Argentine again, he went on. And we are not going to trade them neither for vaccines nor for debts, he added.
“Some minimize those lands and dare to say that we pay for vaccines by handing over the islands. It amazes me that they say it in public, Fernández pointed out in reference to a TV statement by PRO Chairwoman Patricia Bullrich, who suggested the territory could have been offered as collateral to the Pfizer laboratory for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
Bullrich was later forced to recant and say she was only making a mockery of the excuses by the Government for not having bought the vaccines but that she ratified my position in favor of our complete sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands.”
Fernández also launched Friday the Interministerial Work Table Malvinas 40 Years Agenda at the San Martín Palace (Foreign Ministry).
“There is no doubt about the right that we have over those lands. Some minimize them, even dare to say that we pay for vaccines by delivering the islands. … . How shocking, huh. Because the lives of hundreds of Argentines were left on those islands,” Fernández argued.
It is not [about] a President who is determined, it is Argentina that wants to recover that piece of land that was stolen from us and that is ours, and for which many Argentines died,” he stressed.
Fernández insisted that because of our moral duty to vindicate those Argentines, we are not going to stop until the Malvinas are Argentine again.”
“May no one ever steal our love for Malvinas, may no one ever take away our rights to those lands. We have a duty to the memory of each one of those who went to the Malvinas. We are going to continue working, through diplomatic channels, trying to convince the world that the Falklands are Argentine,” he concluded.