martes, 22 de noviembre de 2016
"The Malvinas for Argentines are Like Mount Ararat for Armenians"
The Islas Malvinas and South Atlantic Islands Museum is a public institution that exposes the Falklands War and the Argentine claims on the sovereignty of the islands that are currently a British overseas territory from a Human Rights perspective.
After a presentation and an introductory note on behalf of the panel coordinator, Juan Manuel Peralta, the first speaker, Federico Lorenz, drew a parallel between the Armenians' struggle against denial and the Argentine Malvinas/Falkland claim. He especially mentioned that "much of the history of the Argentinean claim has to do with going against what international structures and great powers have maintained as a factual situation, and that has not been reversed despite a dozen statements of the United Nations [with respect of the Argentine claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas/Falkland Islands]."
"For Argentines, Malvinas is a matter of national identity," continued Lorenz who dismissed the British position defending the right for self-determination of the Kelpers, as the inhabitants of the islands are known. "There is no native population in Malvinas," sustained Lorenz. “The Malvinas were inhabited by population that circulated periodically between the metropolis and the islands, or descendants of those who arrived after the British military occupation in the first half of the nineteenth century."
Khatchik DerGhougassian proposed an "Armenian perspective" at the Malvinas national cause, emphasizing the importance of the importance of overcoming the self-determination vs. territorial integrity trap that the Azerbaijani diplomacy seldom exploits against the Armenians with a clear purpose of manipulating the Argentine sensibility. These abstract principles of international law "are never applied as such and outside the specific context because as any other principle they do not escape the dynamics of the struggle for power in international politics."
DerGhougassian stressed that Malvinas is a national cause because the islands are part of the Argentine national identity, whereas for the United Kingdom they are part of their power projection in South Atlantic. "The perspective of the national cause changes the dichotomy between the right of self-determination or territorial integrity; and it allows me to make a parallel with the Armenian Cause. The recovery of the Argentine sovereignty on Malvinas is a project on the long run, as it are the demand for the territorial restitution of Western Armenia where the Ottoman Turks committed a genocide against the historical inhabitants of these territories. Considering the power asymmetry between Armenian and Turkey no one can ever think that territorial restitution is not utopian. Yet, Armenians would never accept any attempt denying that Mount Ararat is Armenian. The same is true for the Malvinas; they are Argentine though because of the 1982 military adventure of the dictatorship it is not realistic to think that Great Britain would accept their devolution anytime soon, even if the Argentine diplomacy stops talking about sovereignty. Malvinas is for Argentines what Ararat is for Armenians, an active memory that maintains the commitment for national cause of their peaceful and just restitution alive and present for forthcoming generations."
Agustin Analian made a historical summary of the territorial losses that underwent the Armenian people for centuries and especially during World War I and the Sovietization process in 1921 to explain the reason why the whole nation, in Armenia and Diaspora, sustained the struggle to liberate Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijani domination.
The moderator of the debate, Juan Manuel Peralta, ended the talk explaining the reason why the Museum decided to host the event. "We invited the Armenian National Committee of South America to participate in this activity because we believe that both Malvinas and Nagorno-Karabakh constitute two cases that share the claim of historical sovereignty albeit they stand on the opposite sides of two principles of the international law. The reason of this situation is explained by the demographic difference of those who historically inhabited both lands."