PERU has cancelled a visit by a Royal Navy frigate, HMS Montrose, that had been due this week.
Peruvian Foreign Minister Rafael Roncagliolo said: ‘This decision has been taken in the spirit of Latin American solidarity commitments undertaken in the framework of Unasur (Union of South American Nations) with regard to the legitimate rights of Argentina in the sovereignty dispute over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding waters.’
The whole of South America is rapidly becoming a no-go area for British imperialism.
Argentina has re-asserted its claim to the Malvinas at a time when the UK and Argentina are preparing to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, and in a situation where oil has been discovered off the islands.
Last week Argentine minister Hector Timmerman threatened legal action against firms drilling for oil. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government has also already accused the UK of ‘militarising’ the South Atlantic, after a nuclear submarine and a destroyer were deployed in the seas around the islands.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain will ‘continue to protect and defend’ the islands. He is willing to have another ‘oil war’ in the South Atlantic. However, the reality is that British imperialism is now much weaker than it was in 1982.
In fact, some of the leading militarists of that time now say that the UK will have to rearm if it wishes to keep the islands.
Woodward, the commander of the 1982 task force, recently confessed that the British Navy is now in a ‘dire’ state, and is as much use as the Swiss Navy. He pointed out that the Navy would not have an aircraft carrier until 2020, and remarked: ‘We could not retake the Falklands. If we had been in this state in 1982 the Falklands would be the Malvinas.’
Former First Sea Lord and Labour minister under Gordon Brown, Lord West, has called for the foreign aid budget to be diverted to the military after warning Britain would not win a new Falklands War.
Major General Julian Thompson, who commanded the brigade of Royal Marines in 1982, said it would be ‘end of story’ if Argentine forces took the British base on East Falkland.
No doubt a campaign will begin to rearm to face the ‘Argentinian threat’, meaning that even more cash will be lopped off the remnants of the welfare state, smashing up the NHS and the benefits system.
No doubt this government is thinking of doing just that, hoping that a hysterical wave of patriotism can be unleashed, as it was during the 1982 conflict, that can be used to take on the trade unions.
News Line warns workers that this is what happened in 1982. Thatcher built up her special relationship with the military, and with the Murdoch empire, by going to war over the Malvinas. After the victory, the returning troops arrived home carrying a banner warning railmen: ‘Stop the rail strike or we’ll launch an air strike’.
Thatcher used the ‘victory’ to win the state and the middle class for even bigger wars against the miners in 1984-85 and the printers in 1986-87.
The Tories must not be allowed to repeat this tactic. The UK trade unions must insist that the Malvinas belong to Argentina and must be returned. They should hold a joint position with the Argentinian trade unions on this issue.
They must also insist that the enemy is at home and that the road to peace, both in the South Atlantic and the UK, is through the trade unions bringing down the coalition and bringing in a workers government and socialism, that will establish fraternal relations with Argentina and hand back the Malvinas.