While the Roman Catholic conclave was going on last week, drawing the world's attention, something else of note happened at the far edges of the world. The Falkland Islands, a south Atlantic outpost of the British people, held a referendum to remain a British territory. The islands, which thirty years ago saw a war between Britain and Argentina after the latter invaded, have long been an issue of dispute between the Argentinians and the British. The 1982 war still sticks in the proverbial craw of the Argentinians. Getting your ass thoroughly kicked will do that.
The vote was nearly unanimous in favour, which annoyed the Argentinian government to no end. They cried foul, claimed vote rigging. Having had given the impression they would abide by the will of the islanders, the Argentinians nonetheless insist that the Malvinas, as they call them, are being held by piracy, that the islands were hijacked, that they- and the energy and resource rights around them- are rightful property of the Argentinian people. In short, they decided to throw a temper tantrum.
From the writer's point of view, the subject draws my attention. I've been fascinated by this strange place for years, perhaps because it's one of those places that I don't understand. That's a draw to me. What is it about this place that triggered a war? I'd love to see the islands for myself, to explore the place, and understand it close up.
And as a writer, this ongoing story inspires me. I've speculated on the notion of writing antagonists into a book, a family of Germans who flee to South America in the dying days of the Second World War, still holding onto their fascist beliefs over the decades, hiding it beneath a veneer of respectability. Plenty of Nazis did manage to sneak away to South America, after all, including Argentina, after the war. Writing in a family of Nazis in the current day wouldn't be that difficult a prospect, particularly a family with close ties to the government in Buenos Aires, and their eyes on the Falklands.
Well, Argentina, I think we need to have a word. Come on over here, and we'll talk in private, just you and I. No need for the other countries to hear you get dressed down.
I think you need to let it go. Yes, I know, you've had your heart set on the Falklands for many a season, and how can I blame you? They're beautiful and inviting in their own way. All of that potential natural gas and offshore oil must be tempting. But it's not going to do you any good. They've told you they don't want to go steady. They've told you in as polite a way as possible that if you don't leave them alone, they'll issue a restraining order against you.
Now, I know, you're thinking if you just get them away from the burly British they've been going steady with, if you just get a chance to talk to them alone, you might stand a chance. You're figuring, hey, if we stand outside their window with a boom box and a puppy dog look, we might get a chance with our beloved Maldives. I'm sorry, but that only works in the movies. Or so I imagine. I've never actually seen that movie.
It's time to move on with your life. Forget the Falklands. They're not going to change their mind. They're not in the least bit interested in you. Invading them did leave them with a long memory after all. They're trying to be as polite as possible, but you're starting to grate on their nerves.
You need to rethink your life. Maybe get a new hobby. Pay attention to soccer. For some reason you seem to like that sport, and it'll take your minds off the referendum. Stalking the Falklands, insisting that you belong together, is only going to get you in trouble. Particularly with that British bloke they've been seeing. Remember what happened last time? Well, that'll happen again if you get uppity.
So for now, you'll have to tango amongst yourselves. The Falklands aren't interested in dancing. At least not with you.
Oh, don't start crying. You really want Chile to see you crying? You think they won't take advantage of that the first chance they get?