New Internationalist

Storm warnings

Instead of investing in clean energy, transnational corporations responsible for the destruction of the planet are fighting among themselves and against the people and governments who have denounced them. These corporations are the prime culprits in a war over natural resources which many see as part of a new type of colonial piracy.

At the eye of just one of the storms lies the Malvinas (Falklands), where the British are seeking to exploit the islands' fossil fuel deposits, while trampling all over Argentina's sovereignty and jeopardizing the stability of the whole region.
This latest violation has come about thanks to Britain giving the go-ahead for an oil exploration project being carried out at the Ocean Guardian platform, owned by US-based Diamond Drilling Company. British-owned Desire Petroleum has hired the rig but will later lease it to, amongst others, BHP Billiton.

Beyond the differences, this initiative is part of a series of expansionary moves that can be found in the region: the installation of US military bases in Colombia; the military occupation of Haiti exploiting the tragedy of the earthquake: the coup and removal of President Zelaya in Honduras, the presence of military and US intelligence services in the 'Triple Border' (Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay), and desperate attempts at institutional destabilization in Bolivia, among others. 

Latin America is unanimous in upholding the legitimate rights of Argentina in the ongoing dispute with the British over the Malvinas. Brazilian President Lula da Silva asked last week: 'What is the geographic, the political or economic explanation for Britain to be in Las Malvinas? Could it be because Britain is a permanent member of the UN security council where they can do everything and the others nothing?' 

According to the Brazilian head of state, we have entered an 'exceptional' political moment in the region with the consecration in February of a new body, the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean States. 'And we must use it to make progress in discussions of certain key issues. It's not good that the UN Security Council reflects the state of the world as it was more than 60 years ago, at the end of the Second World War. Today the world is totally different.'

Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana said last week that Britain's actions were illegitimate. 'It's a violation of our sovereignty. We will do everything possible to defend and preserve our rights.' He also stated that 'Argentina will continue insisting that Britain does not resist the opinions' of international agencies. Last Thursday he met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ask for bilateral talks with Britain, in order to prevent them carrying out 'further unilateral acts'. 

The Latin American unity in support of Argentina's claim forced Britain's Foreign Office to make a statement. Chris Bryan, minister with responsibility for Latin America, insisted on Britain's sovereignty over the islands and characterized Argentina's reaction as 'predictable'. 

'We have no doubts about our sovereignty over the Falklands. It rests on the principle of self-determination: the Falklanders (sic) want to remain British. We are clear that the Falklands government has the right to develop the hydrocarbon industry within their waters.'

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