chapter  40
7 Pages

Julie Taylor Argentina and the 'Islas Malvinas': Symbolism and the Threat to Nationhood

For the Argentines, the ‘Malvinas’ symbolize their relationship with world powers and therefore their identity as a nation. They represent Argentina’s experience as a colonized and dominated culture, an experience shared with the rest of Latin America. Long before the recent conflict, the islands figured in political discourse and daily conversation as a focus of resentment against the high-handedness Argentina had come to expect from the British in particular, but from others like them as well. The crisis itself convinced the Argentines in their interpretation of years of delay in the talks over the islands as an intentional humiliation of their nation by Britain, confirming the suspicion that the British never gave credence to negotiations or to the Argentine negotiating position. Events since April have also linked the ‘Malvinas’ with the Argentine tradition of attempting to establish a position and an identity independent of the larger powers. And in the interaction of the

■ ARGENTINA AND THE ‘ISLAS MALVINAS’: SYMBOLISM AND THE THREAT TO NATIONHOOD, RAINews, 52, October 1982, pp. 1-3

symbolic messages being created by the British and Argentine governments for their peoples, the subtle imperialism to which Argentina is subject has emerged translated into the simplistic terms of 19th-century colonialism.