imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Brewing Crisis in the South Atlantic: Oil Exploration in the Malvinas Islands

by Adam Richmond Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 at 11:21 AM
sanfrancisco@workerscompass.org

For Argentineans the long simmering territorial dispute between Britain and Argentina is coming to a head, as a British oil rig travels to what analysts say is a 60 billion barrel reserve of high-grade oil located in a 200 square mile zone surrounding the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands. This would make it one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Argentina had instituted a naval embargo of the islands but has recently permitted the oil rig to land in Port Stanley, capital of the island.

The delivery and installation of the oil rig will substantially alter the fundamental economic character of the disputed islands from fishing and sheep-raising to the exploitation of one of the world’s most sought after commodities: petroleum. The exploitative economic character Britain is unilaterally imposing exacerbates the national tensions between Argentina and Britain. This conflict has brought the relationship between the two countries to their sharpest point since the 1982 war over the Islands.

The Argentine government of President Christina Kirschner is set to bring the matter before the United Nations Security Council and is mustering its diplomatic resources to bring this matter to a negotiated end. In addition, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has correctly demanded that Britain cede the Malvinas: “The British are desperate for oil since their own fields in the North Sea are now being depleted," Chavez said in a televised speech. “When will England stop breaking international law? Return the Malvinas to Argentina!" Argentina and Venezuela are both members of Mercosur, the common market covering much of South America.

The Anti-Imperialist Character of the Conflict

This conflict is not, however, a simple land dispute or even an oil resource dispute. The question of the return of the Malvinas Islands is an explosive national issue for most Argentines, who see the haughty imperial occupation and colonization of their islands as symbolic of their nation’s relationship to western imperialism. Argentina is a country whose national wealth is sapped by the wealthiest financiers of London, Madrid, and New York City. The vast majority of the Argentine people view the continued occupation of the Malvinas Islands by Britain as a fundamental injustice. Argentina attempted to seize the islands in 1982 but was defeated by the British after a short-lived, but bloody re-occupation of the colonial outpost. The conflict resulted in nearly 1,000 deaths with two-thirds of the dead from the Argentine military. The invasion was a military disaster for Argentina and a stunning loss in the fight against imperialism which bolstered the fanatical anticommunism of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Then, too, the conflict was bathed in the waters of the Nicaraguan Revolution, the Grenadian revolution, and the civil war in El Salvador, not to mention the U.S.’ sponsored swath of counter-revolutions in Chile and Argentina.

Despite the failure of the Argentine military in 1982, the question still must be answered: What right does Britain have to a colony in the South Atlantic 7,800 miles from London? Britain claims it has the right to defend “self determination” when this seems as a convenient cover for British interests in the expansion of its capital. In keeping with this, the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, the local governing body for the 3,000 plus residents of the Falklands, announced on February 5, that it would oppose any Argentine firm exploring for oil in the territory.

21st Century Colonialism or 21st Century Socialism

The British, French, Dutch, or U.S. governments have no business maintaining colonies in South America, or anywhere else on the globe. The Malvinas are properly Argentine territory, and workers in Britain have no interest in maintaining the old Empire territorial claims that Labor and Tory governments, including those of Thatcher, Blair and Brown, have vigorously defended.

In this sense the Falkland Islands are no different than returning Hong Kong to the Peoples Republic of China, India to the Indians, or Ireland to the Irish. What seemingly complicates the matter is that there are virtually no Argentine nationals on the Falklands. The local residents vigorously support continued British control, much like the reactionary Unionists of Northern Ireland.

Central America, South America, and the Caribbean are dotted with direct colonial possessions of the United States (Puerto Rico, American Virgin Islands), Britain (British Virgin Islands, etc.), the Netherlands (Curacao, Dutch West Indies), and France (Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana). With the century-long occupation of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as examples, it is clear that the United States has no genuine inclination toward the establishment of democracy or independence for the remaining subjugated nations of this region.

Administration after administration prattles on about democracy in countries with which it is interested in interfering. Yet the actions of the U.S. government, whether those run by Democrats or Republicans, while courting figures like the Dalai Lama, are intractable in their overlord status in Puerto Rico. The disgusting example of Vieques, an island off the coast of Puerto Rico, comes to mind. The U.S. has shelled the island for decades as a military training ground. The U.S. refuses to clean up the dangerous waste, which includes carcinogenic pollutants and unexploded ordinance. This has led to absurdly high levels of cancer on Vieques.

Meanwhile, against this backdrop of unresolved colonialism, a new social power is emerging, the resurgent continental resistance to imperialism by Central and South American working people in recent years. A prime example of this is the movement that has thrust the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela to move sharply to the left in the direction of socialism. The specter of social revolution is haunting the oligarchies of South America and the imperialists of the northern hemisphere. The crisis in the South Atlantic cannot be seen outside the context of one imperialist provocation against this process: the military buildup in Colombia against Venezuela, the U.S.-backed separatist movements in Bolivia, the U.S.-sponsored removal of President Zelaya in Honduras, and the influx of U.S. and other imperialist troops in Haiti.

The Anti-Imperialist Potential of the Crisis

The overwhelming anti-imperialist sentiments of the Argentine working class could be ignited into mass action by the British provocation. Given the historic militancy of the working class in Argentina, which propelled hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets to demand economic relief from the government in response to the economic crisis of 2000-2001, one president after another was forced to leave office. Consequently, the Kirschner government will have to act boldly if it is to stay in power.

However, the capitalist government of Argentina is tied hand and foot to the imperialists it is attempting to challenge. President Cristina Kirchner, whose political support includes the businesses and bankers who are in large part dominated by British financial interests, may find it difficult to be successful with her government’s diplomatic efforts or with an attempt at a semi-military blockade of the islands.

Argentina has long been dominated by British capitalism. The direct occupation of the Malvinas Islands by the British only serves to underscore the position of Argentina as a neo-colonial subject nation. A working class upsurge opposed to further British machinations would in all likelihood expose the country’s subjugation at the hands of British imperialism and lay the blame squarely in the Argentine government’s inability and or unwillingness to seize the islands.

Working Class Unity is Critical to Defeat Imperialism

Imperialism can be defeated and will be defeated only when workers politically unite and act independently of their own capitalist-controlled governments so as to lead their respective nations in taking successful actions in defense of the right of all countries to self-determination. One possible action that could be promoted would be to attempt to unite American, British, and Argentine dockworkers with other South American port workers in refusing to load or unload shipments of oil equipment or military related cargo to or from the Falklands. If the British and U.S. workers do not take a stand in support of their Argentine brothers and sisters, there is no reason Argentines should wait. South American workers could demand a halt to all these type of shipments.

It is unlikely that once pushed into independent political action the working class will resume their subservient political role in Argentine politics. The question of working class power was raised in recent Argentine history when workers in 2000 to 2002 took over many workplaces, the streets, the national plaza, highways and even towns.

What about the Falklanders?

As for the Falkland residents themselves, they, too, are unfortunate victims of British Imperialism. Although many families have lived for generations on the islands, the illegitimacy of Britain’s claim has been well known for over a century. Falkland laws against Argentine interests must be voided by the Falklanders themselves if they wish to be on the right side of history.

The Falklander’s parochial interests are secondary to the basic question of national self-determination and sovereignty of Argentina. The Falklanders are not a separate nation from Britain. They are its colonists. Their fear of domination by Argentina is a foil for British economic interests. Britain’s capitalist elite has little regard for its subjects when its economic interests are at stake. It did not grant the millions of residents of Hong Kong the right to elect its own leaders when it was in its interests to secede the Territory to the Peoples Republic of China. Nor ultimately will it consider the interests of the residents of the Falklands equal to their own economic interests.

A victory in the Malvinas for the Argentine working people would be like a beacon for South and Central America’s long and incomplete fight for territorial and political independence from imperialism.

*********

Adam Richmond is a writer for Workers Action. In 2000, he was the originator of the Argentina Solidarity Committee. He can be reached at sanfrancisco@workerscompass.org.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Fbi fears this post J22 9:21PM

Disabled Folks among the extreme poorest in US counts J22 7:03PM

Banks Enriched By Trump Deficit Increase Of 4 to 5 Trillion $ J22 5:48PM

Illegal Russians Receiving Land and Homes in West Bank 2018 J22 11:24AM

Un monde de pauvreté J22 12:54AM

14 Disturbing Facts About Scott Gottlieb, Trump's FDA Head J20 10:47PM

Behind the scenes at fbi National Academy J20 2:47PM

Treasury Takes Aim at Shell Companies J20 11:18AM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence J20 9:08AM

Oklahoma GOP Senator Jim Inhofe's Bloody Record J20 4:01AM

Globalization: hope on the horizon despite Fake Liberals. J20 3:41AM

Sorry President Trump,Ted Cruz Texas Judicial System,is Worse Than Many Shithole Countries J19 4:49PM

The Shortwave Report 07/20/18 Listen Globally! J19 4:33PM

The System Question as a Survival Question J18 8:54PM

Nation's Largest Voting Machine Co., ESS, Admits Lying Re Having Installed Remote Control J18 11:55AM

Du pain et des jeux J18 9:53AM

Paraphysique de martyrologie J17 8:00AM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy