In 1982, following years of civil unrest and economic crisis in Argentina, the Argentine military government invaded the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic in an effort to reclaim the territory from the British. This is known as the Falklands War. Nearly 900 people died in the conflict, mostly Argentines. At the time, few knew of the Falkland Islands, and fewer knew Argentina was capable of mounting an amphibious attack.
Now, 25 years later, the secret’s out. It was all about oil. Plans are underway to start drilling within the Falklands EEZ. “The area might hold 60 billion barrels of oil – equivalent to the North Sea’s estimated original reserves”, says PriceofOil.org.
The website reports:
“…preparations are under way in the South Atlantic to ensure that the islands can cope with sudden wealth” and “the successful extraction of oil could bring billions of pounds to the 3,000 islanders, in a cash bonanza similar to that enjoyed by Gulf states after the development of oil fields there.”
Just in case you were wondering if first world imperialism was alive and well…you can read this story, too from the Telegraph UK. Apparently from the British perspective, the real problem is how to cope with all this sudden wealth. Argentina continues to maintain their claim over the Falklands, as they have since the 19th century, and this is now embedded in the Argentine constitution since 1994.