Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Falkland Islanders vote with an eye on Argentina

STANLEY, Falkland Islands (AP) — Britain is hoping this weekend’s referendum on the political status of the Falkland Islands will push the United States and other neutral governments off the fence in its territorial dispute with Argentina over the remote South Atlantic archipelago.

The local Falkland Islands Government has mobilized a major effort to get as many of its 1,650 registered voters as possible to cast their secret ballots Sunday and Monday, preparing to send off-road vehicles, boats and seaplanes to remote sheep farms across the lightly populated islands.

Elections observers from Canada, Mexico, the U.S., Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and New Zealand also will be watching as islanders answer a simple yes-or-no question: “Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?”

Islanders expect the answer to be overwhelmingly in favor of British governance and protection, a result they hope will put their own self-determination at the center of any debate about their future in the face of Argentine claims to the islands. Britain wants the U.S. in particular to recognize the islanders’ rights, but Secretary of State John Kerry refused to budge during his recent visit to London.

“I’m not going to comment, nor is the president, on a referendum that has yet to take place,” Kerry said, punting the question until after the results are announced Monday night. “Our position on the Falklands has not changed. The United States recognizes de facto U.K. administration of the islands, but takes no position on the question of the parties’ sovereignty claims.”

“Sovereignty” is a term that focuses on a territory more than its people, and it’s the word Argentina often invokes while asserting its claim to the islands. Late Friday, Argentina’s foreign ministry repeated its assertion that the islanders are an “implanted” people and that U.N. resolutions require Britain to resolve the dispute bilaterally, “taking into account the ‘interests’ (not the ‘desires’) of the inhabitants of the islands.”

Britain prefers to refer to “self-determination,” which focuses more on the people than the land they live on.

The U.S. strongly endorsed self-determination for the people of South Sudan ahead of their 2011 referendum, which showed 99 percent wanted independence from their northern neighbor. President Barack Obama said during the Arab Spring uprisings that “the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination” for people in Egypt and Tunisia. The Palestinians and the Puerto Ricans have gained similar support for self-determination rights, and Obama even came out in favor of a UN declaration supporting self-determination for Native Americans.

The Obama administration also has expressed support for letting Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, determine their territory’s relationship to the U.S., though the result of a referendum on the question last year was ambiguous.

But when it comes to the Falklands, which Argentines claim Britain stole from them nearly two centuries ago, and which the two nations fought a war over in 1982, Washington has always tried to take no side. US policy casts it more as a dispute over a territory than a population. This is why the referendum poses a potential dilemma for the U.S., diplomats and political scientists say.

“What we hope is that an act of self-determination in a free society, where people are able to vote as they did in Puerto Rico, is not something that anybody can dismiss or ignore,” Britain’s ambassador to Chile, Jon Benjamin, told The Associated Press. “It’s a self-evident reflection of the will of the people. And that will be the case shortly in the Falkland Islands too. The people there have the right to choose how they are governed and under whose sovereignty.”

Mark Jones, a Latin American politics expert at Rice University in Texas, called the U.S. position “tortured” and difficult to maintain.

“It’s hypocritical for the U.S. to deny the right of the Falkland Islanders to self-determination, while at the same time supporting that same right for a host of other groups throughout the globe. The referendum’s clear-cut outcome makes the U.S. position increasingly untenable and difficult to justify,” Jones said.

The Falkland Islands Government is a direct democracy and largely self-governing, although Britain handles its defense and foreign affairs, and the queen’s representative has veto power over its decisions. So far, islanders have decided to keep their permanent population very small, making it very hard to obtain formal “islander status.”

Excluding the British military and civilian contractors, the islands’ population was 2,563 in last year’s census, and only 1,973 of them had islander status. The referendum rules exclude anyone who lacks a British passport and hasn’t lived in the islands for the last 12 months.

It boils down to 1,650 voting adults, a tiny electorate and one in which the voters all know each other — and their parents and grandparents, some going back nine generations — very well. There were no polls before the vote, but islanders interviewed by the AP predicted that nearly everyone would vote to keep things as they are.

Immediately following the vote, Falkland Islands lawmakers Sharon Halford and Mike Summers planned to arrive in Washington to lobby administration officials and members of Congress.

————

By Corina Goss. Associated Press writers Michael Warren in Buenos Aires and Luis Alonso Lugo in Washington contributed to this report. Follow Michael Warren on Twitter at @mwarrenap and Luis Alonso Lugo  at @luisalonsolugo

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

Going green at church, school, everywhere

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 8 Comments

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 10 Comments

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20