It is striking that Great Britain speaks of colonialism when it is a country synonymous with colonialism.
Buenos Aires (ANTARA News/AFP) - Argentina`s political leaders responded with outrage Wednesday to British Prime Minister David Cameron`s accusations that the Argentine government engaged in "colonialism" toward the Falkland Islands.

The exchange of allegations represents a verbal escalation nearly 30 years after a war between the two countries over the British-held South Atlantic islands still claimed by Argentina.

"It is striking that Great Britain speaks of colonialism when it is a country synonymous with colonialism," Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told the official Argentine news agency Telam.

Timerman said that "obviously at a time when there are only remnants of colonialism, Great Britain, in an imperial decline, decides to rewrite history."

Argentine Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo also slammed Cameron`s comments.

"This is totally offensive, especially coming from Great Britain," Randazzo told reporters in the Argentine capital, adding that "history has clearly shown the British) attitude on the world."

The heated exchange was the latest in a long dispute over the Falklands, internally self-governing islands in the south Atlantic some 400 nautical miles from Argentina, which have been held by Britain since 1833. The islands are known in Argentina as the Malvinas.

In 1982, Argentina and the Britain fought a 74-day war over control of the Falklands that left 649 Argentines and 255 British dead. It ended with the military regime that controlled Argentina at the time surrendering its claim to the islands.

In an appearance in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cameron said, " key point is we support the Falkland Islanders` right to self-determination, and what the Argentinians have been saying recently, I would argue is actually far more like colonialism because these people want to remain British and the Argentinians want them to do something else."

Diplomatic friction between Argentina and Britain had been intensifying since 2010, when London authorized oil prospecting around the islands, which have a population of around 3,000.

Meanwhile, Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota told his British counterpart, William Hague, during a joint press conference in Brasilia Wednesday that "Brazil, UNASUR and even the Latin American and Caribbean communities support the Argentine claim over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands and the United Nations resolutions calling on the Argentine and British governments to negotiate on this issue."

The increase in verbal tension between Argentina and Britain also comes just weeks after Brazil, Chile and Uruguay decided to halt ships flying the Falklands flag from entering their ports.


Editor: Ella Syafputri
Copyright © ANTARA 2012