Today is Malvinas Day (Día del Veterano de Guerra y los Caídos en las Islas Malvinas, or Day of the War Veterans and the Fallen in the Malvinas Islands).
“The Malvinas Are Argentine” A woven bracelet The Doctor bought on the train last week to commemorate the war.
I was too little to remember this war (six-years-old), a war I was taught to call The Falkland Islands War (you don’t call it that here, as an obvious FYI). I also am on the fence on who I think the islands should belong to, though I lean to the idea that this decision is best left up to the Falkland Islanders themselves, who are happy the way things are. But no matter what you think about who they really belong to (if you think about it at all), here are a few Malvinas War facts and other tidbits:
Casualties Argentina: 649. UK: 258, including 3 women civilians killed by friendly fire.
Today’s holiday is rather new, being declared in 2001. Before this, Sovereignty Over Malvinas Islands Day was celebrated on June 10, commemorating the appointment of Luis Vernet as governor of the Islands in 1832.
Any maps I’ve ever seen at home have shown the islands belong to the UK. My son is taught in school that they are part of Argentina:
A map I have in a book about Argentina, bought in the US
A map my son has from school.
Borges was quoted as saying “The Falklands thing was a fight between two bald men over a comb.”
During the war, English music was prohibited in Argentina (including The Beatles. Oh my!). This is a major reason Argentine National rock flourished. Argentine bands are pretty good, look them up if you ever get a moment. A few artists from this period are Juan Carlos Baglietto, Fito Paez (he’s cool), Alejandro Lerner, and Celeste Carballo. My favorite Argie band is Soda Stereo, though they are from 1984 and are more like Depeche Mode than Def Leppard.
Colonel Dorrego, the public works directer after the Argentine invasion, lost his own son in the war.
Dorrego was also in charge of mining the island, only to find that the British had mined the area themselves previously. Even today, there are thousands of mines still planted in the islands.
Penguins and landmines.
The war, not officially declared by either country, only lasted 2 months, 2 weeks.
Leopoldo Galtieri, the Argentine president who supposedly thought attacking the islands would improve his popularity, didn’t think that the British would act militarily. (The Doctor says he just got drunk and decided to occupy the Malvinas. I don’t have a source for this, though!) He was wrong. Galtieri was removed from office 3 days after the British retook the capital city and his government curtains. Within a year, he and others were put on trial for mismanagement of the war and human rights violations related to his government.
I believe that most Argentines think the islands should be Argentine. Today, the internet is full of war things and The Doctor had me play a Malvinas war march when we first woke up.
Ad I got when trying to hear The Titanic soundtrack today. “The Malvinas, southern pearl.”