Argentines return to divided Falklands
Monday 09 August 1999
Two thousand Falklanders were bitterly split over the visit. Pub brawls broke out between former friends, and the councillors who approved the agreement between Britain and Argentina by a margin of 7-1 suffered verbal and physical abuse. Bricks were hurled through an office window, and obscene graffiti was scrawled on the walls of one residence. But the councillors insist there is "a silent majority of the population in favour of the agreement".
Margaret Watson, 37, who was a shop clerk during the war and now raises two young children, vehemently disagrees. "Having so large a group of Argie journalists roaming the streets again and invading our privacy horrifies me and brings back bad memories," she said.
Anne Grisby, a shipowner, appears to be more open: "The Argentines should have been allowed access much sooner and at a slower pace so we could get used to the idea," she observed.
"We have been treated perfectly well, with no problems of any kind," said Gerardo Verkindere, a Buenos Aires transmission technician staying at the Upland Goose hotel. "The food and drink here are fine. But it is very cold." After a hearty breakfast with mutton sausages, the Argentine sightseers were pulling on wellingtons and woollies to tour the boggy battlefields outside Port Stanley. Many were packing binoculars to spot albatross and five types of penguin. Behind a guard fence, they could gawk at Gentoo penguins waddling over a wide beach planted with plastic Argentinian mines, still undetonated. It is far too chilly to attempt any deep-sea fishing for mullet or smelt, a sport that's been introduced to the islands recently. Previously, most fishing was commercial. Other than the odd toy penguin or moody photograph, the souvenirs are thin on the ground.
Mr Esteben, the veteran, was bracing himself for a visit to the military cemetery at Darwin. "During the war," he explained, "I swapped guard duty with another soldier and [on my watch] he got killed. Heis buried in the Malvinas."
"The war was absurd," he reflected. "I want the Malvinas to be Argentine again, but force achieves nothing."
Exclusive: World’s most pristine waters are polluted by US Navy human waste
Saint Patrick's Day: Google Doodle celebrates patron saint of Ireland - here are 10 things you didn't know about the man himself
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
Britain’s five richest families worth as much as poorest 20 per cent, says Oxfam
Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
Ukip and Nigel Farage on course for remarkable victory in European elections
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Tony Benn was entirely ineffectual - and usually wrong
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
- 1 Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?
- 2 Gender-specific books demean all our children. So the Independent on Sunday will no longer review anything marketed to exclude either sex
- 3 Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Did jetliner fly into area controlled by Taliban? Net widens after claims final satellite signal could have been sent from the ground
- 4 Nasa-funded study warns of ‘collapse of civilisation’ in coming decades
- 5 'Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 plane found in Bermuda Triangle!' Viral Facebook links are profiting hackers
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Assistant Head Teach...
£6240 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: Can you teach Food Te...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: My client require dynamic and innovative...
£30000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Industrial/Product...