Aletho News


Declassified Documents Detail US Role in Argentine Dirty War Horrors

teleSUR | August 9, 2016

In a much-awaited step toward uncovering the historical truth of the U.S.-backed Dirty War in Argentina in the 1970’s and 80’s, the United States has delivered over 1,000 pages of classified documents to the South American country. But critics argue that there are major gaps in the files, including the exclusion of CIA documents, that keep in the dark important details of the extent of human rights violations and the U.S. role in such abuses.

The Argentine government delivered the newly-declassified documents to journalists and human rights organizations on Monday after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented the files to President Mauricio Macri during a state visit last week.

The 1,078 pages from 14 U.S. government agencies and departments are the first in a series of public releases over the next 18 months of declassified documents related to Argentina’s last military dictatorship, including Argentine Country Files, White House staff files, correspondence cables, and other archives, according to a statement from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The files include grisly descriptions of torture, rape, assassinations, and forced disappearances carried out by the military regime under General Jorge Rafael Videla, installed after the 1976 coup against left-wing President Isabel Peron.

The documents also detail Henry Kissinger’s applause of the Argentine dictatorship and its counterinsurgency strategy, including during a visit to General Videla during the 1978 World Cup. National Security staffer Robert Pastor wrote in 1978 that Kissinger’s “praise for the Argentine government in its campaign against terrorism was the music the Argentine government was longing to hear.”

Argentina’s so-called anti-terrorism policy was in reality a brutal crackdown on political dissidents, human rights defenders, academics, church leaders, students, and other opponents of the right-wing regime. It was also part of the regional U.S.-backed Operation Condor, a state terror operation that carried out assassinations and disappearances in support of South America’s right-wing dictatorships. In Argentina, up to 30,000 people were forcibly disappeared during the Dirty War.

The documents also detail how then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter raised concern over the human rights situation in Argentina, including in a letter to General Videla rather gently urging him to make progress with respect to human rights. At the time, Kissinger reportedly demonstrates a “desire to speak out against the Carter Administration’s human rights policy to Latin America,” according to a memo by National Security’s Pastor.

The further confirmation of Kissinger’s atrocious legacy in Latin America comes as U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton courts an endorsement from Kissinger, widely condemned as a war criminal by human rights groups.

However, despite the revealing details, the batch of documents is also lacking in key archives, the Argentine publication El Destape pointed out. The package does not include files from the CIA or the Defense Intelligence Agency, which specializes in military intelligence.

What’s more, although the documents were expected to cover the period of 1977 to 1982, the latest documents are dated 1981, which means that cables related to the 1982 Malvinas War between Argentina and Britain and the U.S. role in the conflict are not included.

The Macri administration hailed the release of the documents as the result of a “new foreign policy” that has steered the country to rekindle ties with the United States after former Presidents Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez championed anti-imperialist politics for 12 years. But the self-congratulatory government narrative ignores the fact that Argentine human rights organizations have demanded for years that the archives be released in a fight for historical truth that first bore fruit in 2002 with the release of over 4,500 U.S. documents.

Furthermore, Macri has come under fire for undermining investigations into dictatorship-era crimes after his sweeping austerity campaign scrapped departments charged with gathering historical evidence in certain public institutions. The Argentine president has also been criticized over his indirect ties to the military regime, which proved to hugely benefit his family business, the Macri Society, also known as Socma.

U.S. President Obama described the move as a response to the U.S. “responsibility to confront the past with honesty and transparency.” Obama announced plans to release documents related to the Dirty War during a visit with Macri in Argentina in March, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the 1976 military coup.

Obama’s visit was widely criticized by human rights activists over the insensitivity of the timing. Although he announced plans for the United States to “do its part” with respect to uncovering historical truth about the dictatorship period, he did not apologize for the United States’ involvement in human rights abuses and widespread forced disappearance.

August 10, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

UN says disputed Falkland Islands are in Argentina territorial waters

RT | March 29, 2016

Argentina has officially expanded the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond the UK-claimed Falkland Islands, following a UN commission ruling which increased its maritime territory by 35 percent to include the waters around the disputed islands.

According to the Argentinian Foreign Ministry, the newly introduced continental shelf borders are based on a “unanimous” decision by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, that ruled in Argentina’s favor earlier in March.

According to UN ruling, Argentinian waters have expanded by 1.7 million sq km, which encompass those surrounding the disputed Falklands, or as they are known in Argentina, Islas Malvinas. Essentially the UN ratified the country’s 2009 petition to fix the limit of its territorial waters at 200 to 350 miles from its coast.

“We’re reaffirming our sovereignty rights over the resources from our continental shelf, minerals, hydrocarbons and sedentary species,” Foreign minister Susana Malcorra said, when making the announcement. “I sincerely believe that is a very significant foreign policy achievement of Argentina.”

“This is a historic occasion for Argentina because we’ve made a huge leap in the demarcation of the exterior limit of our continental shelf,” she added.

The UN ruling increased Argentinian territory by 35 percent, as under the previous 200 nautical mile extension Argentina’s shelf consisted of 4.8m sq km. Deputy Foreign Minister Carlos Foradori who chaired the panel presentation at San Martin Palace, said that UN ruling was carried out by design and planning and not by accident.

It “is not a sovereignty dispute, but the creation of national sovereignty quietly and in peace, with all Argentines working in a team, for years, under different governments with a common objective. It was the generation of a policy by design and planning, and not by accident,” Foradori said.

Meanwhile, UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) defense spokesman Mike Hookem slammed the decision, while adding that the British government must “stand by the Falkland Islanders and tell the United Nations it does not accept its decision on Argentina’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).”

“The Falkland Islands do not lie in Argentinian waters and the UN should not be altering customary international law for the sake of one country whose actions in 1982 cost over one thousand lives,” he said in a statement on UKIP’s website.

“I thought the UN was supposed to be a global arbitrator and stick to its own laws, not pick favourites at the expense of its own principles,” he added.

The UN is yet to officially confirm Buenos Aires announcement, but according to Article 76, paragraphs four to seven of the Convention, the coastal state can “delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf, where that shelf extends beyond 200 nautical miles from the baselines …” London is also yet to comment on Argentina’s announcement.

In the long standing dispute, Buenos Aires claims it inherited the Falkland Islands from the Spanish crown in 1816, while London justifies its position saying it has continuously administered the territory since 1833, as well as the islands’ population, which is almost entirely of British descent.

While the islands are self-governed, London provides for its defense and foreign affairs, and fought a war with Argentina to protect its claim in 1982. The British government also maintains that islanders cannot accept Argentinian sovereignty against their will. During the 2013 referendum 99.8 percent of residents favored the status quo.

The people of the Falkland Islands are trying to find out from the British government about “what, if any, decisions have been made, and what implications there may be” for the territory in relation to the UN decision.

“As soon as we have any firm information we will make it available,” Mike Summers, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, said in an e-mailed statement to the Associated Press. “Our understanding has always been that the UN would not make any determination on applications for continental shelf extension in areas where there are competing claims.”

March 29, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

UN calls for dialogue over Malvinas Islands

Press TV – June 27, 2014

A United Nations committee has approved a resolution calling on Britain and Argentina to negotiate a solution to their dispute over the Malvinas Islands, also known as the Falkland Islands.

On Thursday, the UN Decolonization Committee approved the new resolution, calling for a negotiated solution to the 200-year dispute.

This comes as the world body refuses to recognize the outcome of a 2013 referendum on the political status of Malvinas. According to the vote, the territory claimed by both Argentina and the UK, would remain a British colony.

The British government has so far rejected several UN resolutions and repeated calls from Argentina for negotiations on the sovereignty of the region.

Britain argues that it is up to the islands to decide. But Argentina says the English-speaking islanders are an implanted population kept stagnant for the purpose of occupying the territory.

Argentina’s foreign minister said the dispute is not with the people living in the Malvinas but with the British government.

“Argentina has no problem with citizenship. Our problem is that the United Kingdom is occupying Argentinean territory against international law and the United Nations expressly rejects applying to the Malvinas the principle of self-determination,” Hector Timerman said on Thursday.

Argentina and Britain fought a 74-day-long war in 1982 over the islands. The conflict ended with the British side claiming victory.

Located about 480 kilometers (300 miles) off Argentina’s coast, the Malvinas Islands have been declared part of the British overseas territories since the UK established its colonial rule on the territories in 1833.

June 27, 2014 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

British Analysts Side with Argentina on Falklands/Malvinas dispute

By Sara Kozameh | CEPR Americas Blog | March 15, 2013

On Tuesday, the results of the British Referendum on the Falkland/Malvinas Islands came in. According to the BBC, out of the 1,517 votes cast in the referendum, representing 90 percent of eligible voters on the island, all but three of them voted for having the islands remain territory of the U.K. As the British government must have realized before holding the poll, this is not surprising. Despite the relative proximity of the islands to the Argentine mainland, their inhabitants of the island have very few ties to Argentina:  they are descendants of British colonizers, they speak English and maintain British traditions and citizenship.

An episode that aired Wednesday of the Russia Today TV program “Crosstalk” focused on the question of sovereignty and self-determination of the islands and featured an Argentine researcher, an analyst from the conservative Heritage Foundation, and a British historian who sided with Argentina’s legal claim for sovereignty on the islands.

Among the highlights from the episode is a discussion over whether the claim for the islands is an imperial project of the U.K. or whether the claim is legally legitimate.  Luke Coffey, a “Margaret Thatcher Fellow” at the Washington D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, argues [9:40] that the islands are in no way a British colonial project, while British historian, Richard Gott, disagrees [10:07]:  “I’m afraid it’s just not true. The British seized the islands in 1833 and subsequently settled it…”

As Gott and British journalist Richard Norton-Taylor both point out, Britain has always been aware that its claims to the islands may not have been very strong. Norton-Taylor writes:

The dispute over sovereignty has been going on for centuries, and Britain has never been really confident over its claim to the islands. In 1829, the Duke of Wellington observed: “I have perused the papers respecting the Falkland Islands. It is not clear to me that we have ever possessed the sovereignty of all these islands.”

Prior to the 1982 invasion of the islands by the leaders of the bloody Argentine military dictatorship, the two countries had been negotiating potential deals, with options on the table that included a lease-back plan and joint- sovereignty. Newly released British archives show that Margaret Thatcher was in favor of reaching a negotiated deal even after the April 2nd invasion.

Despite the British rhetoric behind this week’s referendum, other British analysts maintain that the 2,932 inhabitants of the islands– who are, by the way, outnumbered 167 to 1 by sheep- do not actually have a right to “self-determination” in this case. As Seumas Milne argues:

Self-determination requires a recognised and viably independent people, which is why the UN has rejected its application to the islands. Clearly the residents of, say, the Wallops in Hampshire, with a similar-sized population to the Falklands-Malvinas, can’t exercise such a right. Nor can forced colonisation of other people’s lands legitimate self-determination – otherwise Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank would have the right to decide the future of Palestinian territory.

Near the end of the Crosstalk episode referred to above, Luke Coffey insists on his position regarding self-determination: [18:20] “There is nothing to discuss here. As far as the U.K. is concerned, as far as the Falkland Islanders are concerned, this matter is settled. The Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly to be part of Great Britain. And we should respect that.”

Chuckles from all the other participants on the show follow as Richard Gott answers him: [21:19] “One of the purposes of the referendum is to use it as a propaganda point in the United States and I’m sure Luke, that you will be active in that… in trying to persuade the Americans to side with the British and not with Argentina.”

Something that nobody mentioned is the vested interest that the U.K. Defense Ministry probably has in maintaining control over the island. The Falkland-Malvinas are also home to a British military base, its 1,300 U.K. military personnel, and the various [PDF] artillery, aircraft, and missiles that are also stationed there.

Argentina has unanimous support from regional governments on its claim to the Falkland-Malvinas, as the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and its 33 member countries, made clear in 2011. Part of this support is probably due to the presence of the British military base on the islands, as the region has been increasingly opposed to any foreign military presence in the region, and as can be seen in the cases of Ecuador expelling a U.S. military base from Manta, and the case of the U.S.-Colombia Defense Co-operation Agreement, which was met with disapproval in the region and finally rejected by Colombia’s supreme court.

To add to that, there is the issue of recent speculation over the possibility of oil reserves on the islands. Both of these might be sticking points in any attempts to get a new round of negotiating over the islands.

But as Seumas Milnes points out in his column:

Britain’s refusal to negotiate with a democratic Argentina – when it was happy to talk to the country’s dictators – has no significant international support: least of all in Latin America, which has been booming for a decade, while Britain’s and Europe’s economies are on their backs.

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , | Comments Off on British Analysts Side with Argentina on Falklands/Malvinas dispute

Argentina’s envoy to Britain: Malvinas referendum is illegal

Press TV – March 4, 2013

A referendum on the Malvinas Islands’ sovereignty is a publicity stunt with no legal ground, Argentina’s ambassador to Britain Alicia Castro has said.

The Malvinas settlers will take part in a referendum next Sunday for the islanders to decide whether they want to remain British or rather they want to rejoin Argentina as motherland.

Argentina, however, has repeatedly announced that the islander’s vote does not count as they believe the Royal Navy has expelled the Argentinians who originally lived on the territory and has replaced them with British settlers.

“This referendum has no legal grounds. It’s not approved, nor will it be recognized by the United Nations or the international community,” Castro said.

“So this referendum is little more than a public relations exercise.”

Britain illegally occupied the Malvinas Islands in 1833 and has since refused to leave. Over the past years, Argentina has repeatedly brought the question of Malvinas to international forums in a bid to highlight its sovereignty over the region.

Some Facts about the Question of the Malvinas Islands

Tripoli Post – 27/02/2013

Dear Editor,

I would like to avail myself of the possibility to reach the readers of The Tripoli Post in order to correct a series of inaccuracies included in the article entitled “Senkaku/Diaoyu: Another Falklands?” of your February 9th issue. I thank your prestigious publication for allowing me to contribute to a fairer and better understanding of the “Question of the Malvinas Islands”.

When comparing the case of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the case of the Malvinas Islands, the author of the aforementioned article says that the latter “have been inhabited by some thousands of English-speaking people of British descent for almost two centuries” and that “Argentina’s claim relates to a short-lived colony in 1830-33 which was preceded by somewhat longer-lived French and British colonies in the 1700s.”

Not true: it is well documented that from as early as the XVIth Century the whole austral region of the Americas – with its coasts, seas and islands – was under the effective control of the Spanish authorities by virtue of several treaties signed by Spain and the United Kingdom. The 32 consecutive Governors named by Spain for the Islands further proves this, as also does the fact that the Argentine governments which succeeded Spain took over and exercised themselves both jurisdiction and administrative faculties over the Malvinas Islands.

Furthermore, all through the process leading to its recognition of the Argentine state in 1825, the United Kingdom did not state any intention to stake a claim to the Malvinas Islands. And in June 1829 Argentina formally created the Political and Military Command of the Malvinas Islands.

On the 3rd of February 1833, a corvette of the British Royal Navy forcefully expelled the Argentine authorities from the islands. Thus started the colonial situation which still prevails and which has incessantly been protested by Argentina.

It is important to mention that in 1965 the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2065 (XX) which recognizes the existence of a sovereignty dispute between Argentina and the United Kingdom, establishes that the situation in the Malvinas Islands is a form of colonialism and invites both governments to engage without delay in negotiations to find a peaceful solution to the problem. This mandate has been reiterated and confirmed up to the present through 40 Resolutions
of the General Assembly and the Decolonization Committee of the UN, as well as by other multinational fora, amongst which the most recent is the Africa – South America Summit held last week in Malabo, where the 54 African countries joined South America in recognizing the legitimate Argentine Sovereignty rights over Malvinas, South Georgias and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

Unfortunately, while the United Kingdom refuses to resume dialogue with the Argentine Republic, it does continue carrying out unilateral activities in the disputed area, such as exploration and exploitation of oil and fisheries, thus disrespecting also Resolution 31/49 of the United Nations General Assembly, which calls on both parties in the sovereignty dispute to refrain from adopting decisions which introduce unilateral modifications to the situation. These unilateral activities also include the increasing militarization of the area, which challenges the characterization of the South Atlantic as a Peace Zone, therefore causing concern in the countries of Latin America.

In the meantime, the Argentine Republic reaffirms its vocation for dialogue and its predisposition to comply with the many calls of the international community in order to find a peaceful, fair and definitive solution to the sovereignty dispute.

Mauricio Nine
Chargé d´Affaires
Argentine Embassy in Libya”

March 4, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | 10 Comments