Argentinan President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner unveils new banknote...featuring the Falklands and the folk hero who led an uprising

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner described the Falklands as 'Nato's military base in the region'

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The Independent US

Argentina has launched a new 50-peso currency note which features a map of the Falkland Islands on one side and an image of Antonio Rivero, who led an attack on the British in the disputed territory in 1833, on its reverse.

Unveiling the new note, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner described the Falklands as "Nato's military base in the region" and said she believed the islands would eventually be recovered.

"We live in a changing world. I have endless confidence that we will recover these islands," Ms Fernandez said during a ceremony at the Casa Rosada presidential palace".

"The colonial enclaves always end up being recovered, sooner or later," she added.

The new note is worth around $7 (£4) and features an image of the islands in white and blue - the colours of the Argentinian flag.

The reverse has an image of Antonio Rivero, a vigilante who was nicknamed 'the Gaucho' and led a group of Creoles and Indians in an attack against the senior members of Luis Vernet's settlement in 1833.

He was never brought to justice and became a folk-hero for the Argentinians.


Revealing the note, Ms Fernandez condemned the installation of long-range missiles on the island by the British, which she said represented a potential threat to South America.

"The British government does not reveal what the military budget is for the Falklands. That is a pity in a country where 20% of the young people are unemployed."

"It would be good if England was less dedicated to war and more to its own people," said Ms Fernandez.

Fernandez said the islands “constitute a NATO military nuclear base in the South Atlantic — this is the truth that they can’t continue to hide.”

Ms Kirchner added that the note would: "compel every Argentinian to keep alive on a daily basis the flames of love for our islands which are and always will be Argentinian."

She also repeated calls for Britain to open negotiations over the future of the island.

Ms Kirchner has repeatedly made strong statements over the sovereignty of the islands - which the Argentinians refer to as Las Malvinas.

Last year she used a Security Council meeting in New York to once again reassert Argentina’s claim over the disputed territory.

She said at the time: "This is not a fanciful stance. We simply want the United Nations resolution to be enforced and for our two countries to sit down and discuss this."

The British Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly stated there would be no negotiation over the sovereignty of the islands. In March last year islanders voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining British. Just three residents out of 1,517 were against remaining British.

Britain and Argentina went to war in April 1982 when Argentina invaded and occupied the islands. The resulting 74 day war ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982. 649 Argentine military personnel, 255 British military personnel and 3 Falkland Islanders died during the hostilities.