REPORT: Ambassador Alicia Castro called for dialogue on the Malvinas and condemned the action of vulture funds at the Latin America Conference in London

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An audience of over 700 British people applauded the words of the Ambassador of Argentina in the Latin America Conference, the great annual meeting that brings together MPs, activists, NGOs, trade union leaders, journalists and academics, who back Latin American causes. She thanked them for their support to Argentina. “Our hope as Latin Americans is to demonstrate that another world is possible and that there are, after all, economic and social alternatives in the 21st Century”.
AC_LAC2014 Ambassador Alicia Castro at the Latin America Conference.
London, 30 November – Alicia Castro took part yesterday in the Latin American Conference closing rally as a keynote speaker, together with British MPs Jeremy Corbyn and George Galloway. In her speech she thanked the many sectors of British society that support Argentina in the Malvinas Question and against vulture funds.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our British friends, all the people, organizations and unions that join us in our call for dialogue in order to find a peaceful and definite settlement to the sovereignty dispute over the Malvinas Islands. In the words of our President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, this is not a national cause; it is a regional cause, it is a global cause of those against colonialism, of all those against imperialism”, stated Castro at the main hall of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

In the morning, the Ambassador led a panel on the Malvinas Question with journalist and historian Richard Gott, coordinator of the Pro Dialogue Group in the UK. Alicia Castro asserted Argentina’s sovereignty rights over the islands and condemned the British refusal to negotiate. “It is unacceptable that the British government that negotiated with the military junta is today refusing to open a dialogue with the democratic and popular government of Argentina”, she said. “By violating international law and ignoring the Resolutions of the United Nations, the UK is placing itself in a position of increasing isolation from the vast majority of the international community that demands dialogue”.

Castro denounced the growing militarization of the South Atlantic by the UK, providing detailed information about the resources and assets of the British military base in the Malvinas. She also condemned the illegal exploration of hydrocarbons in the area: “The exploitation of hydrocarbons in the islands without an adequate mainland support infrastructure would put our region at the risk of an environmental disaster”.

“We know that one day Argentina will exercise sovereignty on the Malvinas”, she concluded, “Our task is to bring that day closer. We also know that when that day arrives, the Malvinas Islands inhabitants will have a better life. They will enjoy a good quality of life, like the 250 thousand British people and their descendants who are fully integrated into life on the Argentine mainland; they will benefit from regular flights to the mainland; they will have access to healthcare and free public university education; they will be able to elect their leaders, just as with any Argentine province, whereas today its illegitimate “Governor” is appointed by the UK government in London; they will be able to elect representatives to the National Congress; they will be able to obtain an Argentine passport and retain their British nationality and identity, if they should so wish”.

The Ambassador also thanked the significant support received from British society against vulture funds. “We want to give recognition to the British MPs that passed two Early Day Motions in Parliament supporting Argentina against vulture funds”, she said. “More widely, we thank all the friends of our country, including union leaders, NGO’s, economists and academics who reject the actions of these funds who want to bring Argentina to bankruptcy with the help of US courts. The current dilemma is who will rule the international financial system: a group of rogue speculators or sovereign States?

Other panels in the Conference analyzed the situation in Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia; the peace process in Colombia; the struggles and demands of the indigenous peoples of our America, and the existing alternatives to savage capitalism in Latin America. The Conference also featured presentations by The Guardian journalists Seumas Milne and Owen Jones, Aleida Guevara – daughter of Ernesto Che Guevara – and other Latin American Ambassadors.

The Latin American Conference celebrates its tenth edition this year, and Argentina has taken part in it since 2012.

Embassy of the Argentine Republic
65 Brook Street
Press Office
Tel: 020 7318 1323
Fax: 020 7318 1301

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