Chavez, allies call for sanctions against Britain over Falklands

Argentine activists demonstrate in front of the British embassy in Buenos Aires on January 20, 2012.

Story highlights

  • The dispute escalates after Prince William, a Royal air force pilot, is assigned to the islands
  • Argentina and Britain went to war over the archipelago in 1982
  • Latin America should study what sanctions should be applied to Britain, Chavez says

The Ecuadorian president is calling for sanctions against Britain for its long-running dispute with Argentina over who owns the Falkland Islands.

President Rafael Correa urged tougher measures, accusing Britain of refusing to negotiate with Argentina about the disputed archipelago that has sparked diplomatic wrangling between the two nations for decades.

"It is time that Latin America decides on sanctions against that misplaced power that intends to be imperial and colonialist in the 21 Century," Correa said at a meeting of the ALBA bloc on Saturday. "I believe that we should go to things stronger."

Why won't the UK give up the Falkland Islands?

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Prince William posted to Falkland Islands
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ALBA, or Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, is made up of various nations, including Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Argentina and Britain went to war over the archipelago in 1982, and their leaders have exchanged bitter war of words in recent weeks, reviving memories of the conflict.

The dispute escalated recently after Prince William, a Royal air force pilot, was deployed to the islands Argentina calls Islas Malvinas.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who also attended the meeting held in his nation, joined other leaders in approving a resolution favoring Argentina in the dispute.

Latin America leaders should study what sanctions should be applied to Britain, Chavez said at the meeting.

Map: Falkland Islands
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"In this case I speak only for Venezuela, but if the British empire should militarily attack Argentina, Argentina will not be alone in this occasion." Chavez said. "Venezuela is not most powerful, but we will resist the imperialist aggression against sister countries."

Despite regular challenges, including the 1982 conflict, Britain's control has endured and the Falklands' current 2,500 inhabitants look to London to safeguard oil, fishing, farming and tourism incomes.

Britain acknowledges its claim to the Falklands is disputed, but has no intention of discussing the sovereignty issue, according to Professor Clive Schofield, an expert in maritime territorial disputes at Australia's University of Wollongong.

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