Page 3 Profile: Alicia Castro, Argentina’s ambassador to the UK


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The Independent Online

She looks friendly.

The Prime Minister won’t be thinking that. While David Cameron and the coalition government are deciding what to do over the current mess with Spain and Gibraltar, Alicia Castro has popped up to remind him that there is also another British Overseas Territory he needs to be thinking about.

Did she call him up for a diplomatic update?

Not exactly. The ambassador labelled Cameron “foolish” and “inefficient” during a speech to the Argentine senate about the islands, though she insists it was taken out of context. It’s all because Cameron criticised Pope Francis’ stance on the disputed land back in March. Cameron said he “respectfully” disagreed with a comment the Pope made, when he was still a cardinal in Buenos Aires, that Britain had “usurped” the islands from Argentina.

Is she usually this combative?

Relations between Castro and UK politicians have often been icy. In April she rejected an invitation to Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, due to her actions as Prime Minister during the 1982 war over the islands. In March this year, she said the islands’ referendum on their status as a UK Overseas Territory a “public relations exercise”.

What did she do before sparring with British politicians?

She used to represent Argentine flight attendants as General Secretary of the Air Crew Association of Argentina union from 1991 to 2003. She went on to be the Argentine ambassador to Venezuela from 2006. But the most entertaining detail is an apparently very close relationship – although she denies it was improper – i with the now deceased president of Venezula, Hugo Chavez.

Will this be the last time we hear from her?

She said the dispute over the islands “is no more than imperialism and colonialism”, and she’ll no doubt continue banging out that line for some time to come.