Monthly Archives: January 2013

Spain and the Falklands

I haven’t posted anything political before as everyone has their own opinion, however, I thought I would about the Falkland Islands.

In a nutshell, Argentina claim that the Falklands are theirs because they inherited Spain’s historical claim. There is slightly more too it, but that is where the main part of their claim comes from.

Unfortunately, Spain didn’t agree to give their claim on the Falklands to Argentina. You could in fact say that they gave up their claim in 1811 when the left the islands, and they formally recognised British ownership in …, In fact when Argentina came into existence, no major power at the time recognised Argentina’s claims to the islands.

Going back further though to Spain’s claim (which form the basis of Argentina’s claim). The islands were settled by the French in 1764, and then the British in 1765 (who settled on another part of the Falklands not knowing about the existing French settlement). Where do Spain come in? Spain were not happy about settlements in that part of the world, so under pressure from Spain, France handed over the islands for a reimbursement of costs of the settlement. Spain claimed the islands from France because of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht recognised the limits of Spain’s possessions in the South Atlantic. Here is the problem though, the 1713 treaty can’t give possession of the islands to Spain because the islands were not discovered then. Furthermore, the treaty, signed by Spain, Britain and France includes the following right in Article I:

“and that the same be so sincerely preserved and cultivated, that neither party do, under any colour whatever, endeavour to attempt any thing to the destruction or detriment of the other, or yield any aid, by what name soever it be called, to there who attempt the same, or who endeavour to do any damage, neither may or ought they to help them by any means. On the contrary, their Royal Majesties shall be obliged the one to promote the advantage, honour, and interest of the other, and to direct their councils to that end with all care, that by mutual proof of friendship, the peace which is now made may daily receive new additions of strength.”

So right from the beginning, the Treaty of Utrecht doesn’t supports Spain’s claim, it nullifies it. In it, Spain agreed to do nothing to harm or hinder the interests of Britain or France, yet by getting involved, Spain did just that.

 Of course the rest of complicated with Argentina claiming that they settled the Falklands (they didn’t), and that the British expelled them (that didn’t happen either), but right from the 1713 Treat of Utrecht, Spain’s claims, from which Argentina base theirs, are invalid.

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