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Monday, February 6th 2012 - 07:03 UTC
Caribbean states join Mercosur in barring Falklands’ flagged vessels from their ports

Several Caribbean states and Nicaragua announced this weakened they will bar from their ports any vessel flying the Malvinas flag, according to a release from the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Minister Hector Timerman is currently in Caracas, a special guest of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for Peoples of the Americas) summit summoned by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

“With the incorporation of the ALBA group, together with Mercosur and Unasur means that most of Latin America effectively support Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands”, said the release.

The decision is the result of a series of bilateral meetings held by Minister Timerman with the heads of state from ALBA members during the summit of the group to which the Argentina minister was specially invited by President Chavez.

Addressing the summit Timerman recalled the significance that all Latin American and Caribbean countries support the legitimate rights of Argentina over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and their adjoining maritime spaces, “as expressed in the Riviera Maya summit of February 2010 and later reiterated during the first CELAC (Community of Latin American and Caribbean States) summit in December 2011 in Caracas”.

“Today Caracas is witness that Malvinas has become a cause of the entire Latin America and the Caribbean and shows Argentina is not alone in its legitimate claims”.

ALBA and Celac are the brain child of Venezuelan president Chavez and his generous wallet of oil-dollars. ALBA is made up of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, St Vincent & Grenadines, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda.

Invited countries to the ALBA summit included Haiti, Grenada, Santa Lucia and Surinam.

Uruguayan political appointee Julio Baraibar also attended as a personal ambassador from Uruguayan president Jose Mujica.

At the summit Timerman called for “a strong applause and acknowledgement for Uruguay since it was the first country to make effective the Unasur and Mercosur agreement to bar Malvinas flagged vessels from entering Uruguayan ports”.

Regarding self determination, ‘the occupying colonial power argument’, Timerman said that United Nations has specifically excluded such a principle for the case of the Malvinas Islands.

Going back in history the Argentine minister said that England in 1806 and 1807 tried to take control of the River Plate but were expelled; however in 1833 they managed to take control of the Malvinas and since then “have applied a policy of evicting Argentines and their settlements to have them replaced by implanted British population based on its controls of the seas”.

Finally Timerman said that under constitutional mandate Argentina has “to recover sovereignty over the Malvinas and other South Atlantic Islands but only through peaceful means and diplomatic negotiations respecting the way of life of its inhabitants and according to International Law”.

“Most of Latin America and the Caribbean effectively support Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the Malvinas confirming that Argentina is not alone, who is increasingly alone and isolated is Great Britain”.
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