|Hands off the Malvinas (Falklands)|
|Written by International Socialist League|
|Sunday, 01 April 2012 17:49|
The British government nearly 30 years after ordering sinking the Belgrano that, was outside the British Malvinas exclusion zone, is at it again. Military might and arrogance, with backing from the USA, is driven by their desire for oil and their strategic interests in the area of the south Atlantic. As the best of the British union organisations, community and political tendencies said in 1982, we repeat today "Hands off Argentina's islands".
Prince William's posting to the Malvinas was part of their military manoeuvres and is a calculated slap to Argentina. The message is unmistakable, "Don't forget we rule here and we will take the oil". It also shows that British royalty is an integral part of supporting the interests of the British oil companies and an integral part of supporting armed intervention from Argentina to Afghanistan.
Why does Cameroon want to keep the islands? Recent estimates indicate that under the continental shelf of the Argentine sea in the south Atlantic, where the Malvinas are, there’s about 8.3 billion barrels of oil, three times UK reserves and ranking 15th in global reserves.
An American company with links to the Pentagon and the UK company Rockhopper have discovered fossil fuel reserves in the "Exclusive Economic Zone" surrounding the islands. Billions of pounds and dollars are rushing in to exploit this oil field. Oil giants like Hess, Noble and Murphy (US), Cairn Energy, Premier Oil (UK) and BP’s Deepwater Horizon partner Anadarko Oil from Houston are there.
To ensure the oil companies are protected the British send a nuclear-powered submarine and a destroyer. Neither Argentina nor any friends they have in Latin America can therefore expect any justice from the United Nations or any other international body. Imperialism knows exactly where their interests are
In addition to the oil the British and US governments want to maintain geopolitical power in the south Atlantic in order protect US and UK power over Antarctica, where UK and US territorial claims overlap with Argentina’s and Chile.
National and foreign aggression
British possession of the Malvinas comes from the days that they ruled as a colonial master of the world, when they expanded their empire that included Ireland, India, Asia and Africa. They invaded the Malvinas, 7,920 miles from the British parliament, in 1833 and kicked out the Argentina inhabitants. It was the year that Britain finally ended slavery in their colonies. Britain ruled the world by gunboat and genocide.
Everyone knows that before Thatcher confronted Argentina her government (again in alliance the USA establishment) destroyed nationalised industries and went on the destroy the British mines, mount ever greater attacks on workers rights, shackle the unions and laid the privatisation agenda for subsequent Tory and Labour governments.
If the trade union and labour leadership had mobilised against Thatcher's war at the time when Thatcher was very unpopular and when her destruction of the nationalised steel industry nearly provoked a general strike the working class in general and the miners in particular would have been much better placed to defeat her domestic plans. But as Thatcher went to war union and national union and political labour leaders ran.
On April 8 1982, the Liverpool TUC carried the following motion:
"This trades Council condemns the war of the Thatcher government against Argentina – the sailing of the fleet to the Falklands and the sanctions on Argentina – is an imperialist adventure. It is an attempt to maintain a base that was seized from Argentina over 150 years ago.
The policies of this war government are neither concerned with military repression in Argentina nor with the interests of the Falklands population. The Trades Council condemns the jingoistic support of imperialism by the Labour leaders. A victory for Thatcher’s government abroad will mean increased aggression against workers at home. We therefore demand of the Trades Union Council (TUC) and the Labour leadership that they stand by the principle of socialist internationalism with a policy of “Down with the war. Mobilise the working-class to bring down the Tory government”.
We recognize the sovereignty of Argentina over the Falkland islands and call for the recall of the British fleet."
The minutes of the Liverpool trade Council stated that, after a lengthy discussion and after hearing many speakers the resolution was carried. There were 80 delegates that evening.
That is the position of the ISL; we condemn the Tory-Liberal-Democratic military aggression, oil grapping and its attempts at regional control. We continue the tradition that was most forcefully expressed by the Workers Revolutionary Party, against many who remained neutral.
We call on all unions and left organisations, including those who took a 'neutral' position in 1982 to condemn the British government and to demand the Malvinas belong to Argentina.
Social war and military aggression
All workers know that this government, with Labour party supporting them, is continuing to unleash devastating attacks on the unemployed, the disabled, the youth, women and all workers. The attack on the Welfare state is being fought by the movement of students, youth and many trade unions. But to defeat the banks and multi-nationals and those that carry out their bidding in all the main political parties including the Labour party means building a mass class movement based on internationalist principles and a clear idea of who the enemy is. The enemy is not Argentina it is our government defender of banks and bonuses, the European Union and the US government.
British and world imperialism is in crisis especially after 2008 and the continuing upheavals in Europe will not disappear. The drum beats of war are increasing and British imperialism is trying to maintain its interests as it did in Iraq and as it does in Afghanistan and as war threatens against Iran.
All their occupations and attacks on countries across the world will not save their system. But their support for war is a product of their domestic policies. There is a war raging in Britain against public services and jobs, the British government and banks support these attacks throughout Europe such as removing Greece's sovereignty. The social war on the working class, the foreign wars and military aggressions come from the same source, we have a common enemy.
Support the Argentinean dock workers
Argentina's CATT transport workers' federation has organised its members to stall the loading and unloading of British ships until London opens sovereignty talks with Buenos Aires over the disputed South Atlantic islands.
"We're going to economically hurt British-flagged ships or British ships flying the flag of convenience," said Omar Suarez, head of the SOMU shipping workers' union that belongs to the CATT federation.
"We'll let them in but with a delay of six to 12 hours," Suarez told Reuters. "It will go on indefinitely until Britain negotiates with our government over the (islands') sovereignty."
We call on the British trade unions to support the efforts of Argentinean workers to fight the aggressor.
As Stop The War Coalition builds the campaign against intervention in Iran and Syria we call on it to condemn British military aggression against Argentina.
The Malvinas belong to Argentina!
Bring the navy and troops back!