JO - Chavez tells UK to return Falkland Islands
Chavez tells UK to return Falkland Islands
Saturday, February 11, 2006
CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) - President Hugo Chavez called on British Prime Minister Tony Blair to give the Falkland Islands back to Argentina and accused Britain of imperialism for the 1982 war it fought to regain the south Atlantic archipelago.
Chavez is angry over Blair's comments in the British Parliament, where he said Wednesday that Venezuela could gain the respect of the international community only if it abided by the international community's rules.
"Remember the Falklands and how they were taken from the Argentines," Chavez said Thursday in a speech in northern Zulia state, one day after he called Blair a "shameless lackey" of Washington for his statements critical of Venezuela.
"With US support, the British navy was sent to trample on the Argentine soldiers. That's imperialism," Chavez said.
Chavez said that Blair's remarks in Parliament were "a threat" and part of Washington's "agressive imperialist plan" to prevent his own re-election in December.
The British territory of the Falkland Islands, known in Argentina as the Malvinas, are claimed by Buenos Aires who maintains they were illegally occupied by Britain in the early 19th century.
The Argentine military took over the islands for two months in 1982, but were ousted after a bloody fight with a British expeditionary force.