LONDON -- In an open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, published as an advertisement in the Guardian and other newspapers Thursday, the president of Argentina demanded the return of the British-ruled Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.
In the letter, copied to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner called for a U.N. resolution to return the Malvinas, as they are known in Argentina, to her country.
"One hundred and eighty years ago on this same date, January 3rd, in a blatant exercise of 19th century colonialism, Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands," Fernandez's letter began.
She further accused Britain of "a population process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule,” and demanded that a 1960 U.N. resolution "bringing an end to colonialism in all its forms and manifestations" be put into practice through a negotiated solution to the dispute over the islands.
The British government has either ignored or countered Argentina's claims with an outright refusal to negotiate, citing the Falkland islanders' right to self-determination. It has called a referendum for March 10-11 in which the 3,000 or so islanders, most of whom are of British descent, could choose their government.