President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner yesterday recorded and released a public video of gratitude toward Uruguayan head of state José ‘Pepe’ Mujica. This follows the incident on Monday 20th September 2010 when a British ship was denied access to Montevideo’s port on its way to the disputed Falklands/Malvinas Islands by the Uruguayan government.
The Royal Navy HMS Gloucester was bound for Montevideo to refuel after a stop in Rio de Janeiro when Mujica ordered the ban, which has been seen as “a solidarity gesture toward the Argentine government with which Uruguay is trying to improve relations.”
Kirchner is seen in the video to be publically thanking the Uruguayan government for their decision to halt the ship as they “considered it correct to do so.” She also states in her video that she sees the interference of the Uruguayan government as an act of “joint defence” against the United Kingdom from South America.
She went on to label the motives of the British government as concerned with the exhaustion of Argentine natural resources, inferring that oil is their main interest in the region.
Kirchner concluded her message to the Uruguayan president by again expressing her thanks for his interventions and his support for the Argentine cause over the islands as she considers them “an issue that belongs to the whole of South America.”
Since the incident, British government officials have stated that they “respect Uruguay’s right to withdraw clearance on the Royal Navy HMS Gloucester vessel to access Montevideo’s port on its way to Malvinas islands.”
President Kirchner’s video is the latest development in the animosity between the Argentine and British governments over territorial claims of the islands since conflicts started in 1982.