Several Latin American states, including two commonwealth countries, have backed Mercosur in its blockade against Falklands/Malvinas’ flagged ships.
Hector Timerman, Argentina’s foreign minister, travelled to Caracas this weekend for the summit of Bolivian Alternatives for the People (ALBA), hosted by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
The conference was attended by heads of states and foreign ministers from an eight-nation left-leaning Latin American bloc, considered as allies of Venezuela.
The escalating dispute between Argentina and Britain over the claim to the Falklands/Malvinas was the main topic under discussion, according to information provided by the State Department. Chavez turned to the subject at hand at the meeting’s opening on Saturday night.
Timerman expressed his concern about “the UK’s recurrent unilateral acts with regard to the exploitation of natural recourses and military forces in the area, breaching the UN’s 31/49 Resolution.”
The Venezuelan president called on the foreign ministers present at the ALBA to investigate possibilities for sanctioning the UK, “above all for their refusal to enter into dialogue and, moreover, for their refusal to discuss the military threat posed,” which is, he said, “a ridiculous affair.”
ALBA indicated its strong support of the Argentine blockade, thus strengthening Mercosur’s decision to impose an embargo on Falklands/Malvinas’ flagged ships last December.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa agreed that further restrictions should be imposed.
“It is time that Latin America put sanctions in place against this displaced power that pretends to be imperialist and colonialist in the twenty-first century,” he said. “I think that we need to employ more forceful measures.”
Timermann hopes that the strong diplomatic and financial backing from ALBA will put pressure on Britain to comply with the UN resolution, encouraging a discussion which has been shunned thus far.
“The Malvinas…now concerns all of Latin America and the Caribbean,” the foreign minister concluded at the summit.
“It is Britain, not Argentina, that is isolated in its claims.”