We got to visit Barcelona from March 16 – 19.

The Sovereignty Dispute over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands

 The Sovereignty Dispute over the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands
Lowell Gustafson

Department of
Political Science

Villanova University

Villanova, PA 19085

Who has the Legal Title, the Rightful Claim to the Islands?

Political Geography
  51o42’S, 57o51’W;  
  12,173 km2, 4,700 sq miles;  
  300 miles (480)km east of Argentina in South
Political Nomenclature
  Falkland Islands or Falklands, Las Islas Malvinas or
Malvinas, Falklands / Malvinas, Falklands (Malvinas)

Discovery: Sightings and Landings

Indigenous Discovery and Settlement?
  The Yaghan people?
European Sightings
of the Islands
  Amerigo Vespucci, Estaban Gomez of Ferdinand
Magellan Simon de Alcazaba,
  Francisco de Camargo  
  John Davis, Richard Hawkins  
  Sebald van Weerdt  
  John Strong  
Discovery and
Papal Grant

  Pope Alexander VI, 1493  
  Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494  
England and the
Spanish Empire
  Search for naval base from which to penetrate
Spanish Empire in South America, support the independence of Spanish
American colonies
French attempt to
restore its empire
  Antoine Louis de Bougainville founds Port St. Louis
in Les Malouines in January 31, 1764France pays Bougainville for the settlement, Port St. Louis ceeded
to Spain in 1767
British Settlement
  – John Byron, January 4, 1765 founds Port
Egmont, after the French settlement was founded.
  – Spanish forcibly evict the British settlement in
  – Some British, such as Lord Chatham, favor forcible
response to restore British control of Port Egmont if necessary
  – Did Lord North think that Falklands were in fact not
valuable enough to warrant conflict with Spanish, but was unable to
publicly back down to Spanish for domestic political reasons?
Was there a Secret Agreement between North and the Spanish
that if the Spanish returned Port Egmont to the British now, Britain
would leave these unimportant islands within a brief time after the
dust settled?
  – Britain does vacate Falklands in 1774,
but leaves a plaque asserting British claim to the islands.
  – Nootka Sound Convention of 1790  
Independence of Argentina

  1810 establishment by Cabildo of the
Primera Junta in support of Ferdinand VII
  Britain still interested in penetrating
Spanish empire
    Lord Beresford’s old style military approach to
    Encouragement of Latin American
political independence, economic neo-colonialism
  Spain preoccupied by independence
movements on mainland, in 1811 the Spanish abandon Las Islas
  Principle of Uti Possidetus vs.
post-independence political fragmentation: which territories of old
vice-royalties will become parts of newly independent nations?
  Sealers, fisherman of various
nationalities informally use the Falklands
  – Argentina attempts to establish de facto
and de jure control over Las Malvinas.Louis Vernet.
1825 Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation between Great Britain
and Argentina.

June 10, 1829: Argentina gives Vernet exclusive grant of fisheries.

November 19, 1829, British protests the grant, renew claim to

Vernet seizes two U.S. ships that were violating his exclusive

U.S. sends U.S.S. Lexington, which declared islands res nullius.

Argentina appoints new governor.

Britain sends two warships, the Clio and the Tyne,
take Port Louis on January 2, 1833.
British occupation from then until now.

Discovery, Settlement, Abandonments, Plaques, Fishing, and Conquest

  Superiority of Argentine Historical
Claims before 1833

Self-Determination, Decolonization, and a New Just War?

  The Principle of
Self Determination: Who is the Self?  What may it determine?
    – The Falkland Islanders (kelpers) who
live on a well defined piece of territory should be permitted to
decide their political affiliation.- Is the self an individual who makes personal choices?– Is the self an entire nation, a people who together or as
represented by a democratic government may decide what territory is
to be included under its sovereignty.  In this case, all of
Britain is the self, with Falklanders a small percentage.
  Decolonization and
the Use of Force
    – To prevent future first uses of force
in the drawing of boundaries, should borders previously drawn
through the use of force be accepted?- Anti-colonialists argue that what the imperialists after WWII
called the first use of force in opposition to established colonies
will not lead to WWIII; instead anti-colonial use of force is in
self-defense against aggression of previous centuries.– Colonized peoples seek to gain independence: Unification of
self-determination and decolonization: justifies the (defensive) use
of force of anti-colonialists.

– A new just war doctrine accepts anti-colonial aggression.1960 U.N.
General Assembly Resolution of 1960, “Declaration on the granting of
independence to colonial countries and peoples.”

– 1961 Indian invasion of Portuguese Goa, which had been there for
450 years: supported by – General Assembly.  Historical
colonial aggression justifies contemporary, anti-colonial aggression
(now called self-defense).

– U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2065: apply 1514 to Malvinas.
Argentines are the self that should decide to decolonize the

–  African and Asian independence movements largely complete by
mid 1970s, their attention moves from decolonization to stability.

– By 1982, many former anti-colonists who had supported Indian
attack in Goa look askance at Argentine invasion of the Falklands.

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I had the opportunity to visit Rome from January 30 to February 3, 2017 with a class led by Dt. José Ángel Agejas, who earned his PhD at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.  (I’m keeping these pictures from Rome in my Spain category; they were taken on a trip organized by Francisco de Vitoria in Spain.)

The first church we visited was Santa Maria in Vallicella.  “St. Gregory the Great built the first church on the site. By the 12th century, it was dedicated to Santa Maria in Vallicella (“Our Lady in the Little Valley”).

We then went to the church of Santa Pudenziana, which may be the oldest place of Christian worship in Rome. It was built over a 2nd-century house, probably during the pontificate of Pius I in 140–155 AD, and re-uses part of a bath facility still visible in the structure of the apse. This church was the residence of the Pope until, in 313, Emperor Constantine I offered the Lateran Palace in its stead. In the 4th century, during the pontificate of Pope Siricius, the building was transformed into a three-naved church. In the acts of the synod of 499, the church bears the titulus Pudentis, indicating that the administration of the sacraments was allowed.

San Pietro in Vincoli is not very imposing on  the outside.  But it is where Michaelangelo’s Moses is held.

The Basilica di San Bartolomeo all’Isola was built in the tenth century over the Roman Temple of Aesculapius.  It is said to hold the remains of Saint Bartholomew.  It also holds relics of many martyrs from the 20th and 21st centuries, such as the Bible read by Archbishop Romero of El Salvador when he was killed in 1980; a relic of Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed at a church in Normandy, France in July of 2016.

Basilica di Santa Prassede all’Esquillino  was commissioned by Pope Hadrian I around the year 780, and built on top of the remains of a 5th-century structure and was designed to house the bones of Saint Prassede and Saint Pudenziana, the daughters of Saint Pudens, traditionally St. Peter’s first Christian convert in Rome. The two women were murdered for providing Christian burial for early martyrs in defiance of Roman law.  The basilica is well known for its mosaics.

The Pontifico Istituto Orientale; Centro Studi e Ricerche Ezio Aletti is a workshop where contemporary mosaics are made.  It is planning to produce a new chapel at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria.


Chiesa Di Sant Ignazio di Loyola in Campo Marzio is a Counter Reformation style that exuberantly displays angels, saints, and all kinds of mystical beings.  It is also the resting place for the Saint’s bones.

Contarelli Chapel holds three paintings on Saint Matthew by the Baroque painter Caravaggio.

San Pietro in Montorio was built on the site of an earlier 9th-century church dedicated to Saint Peter on Rome’s Janiculum hill. According to tradition, it was the site of his crucifixion.  The Tempietto (“small temple”) is a small commemorative tomb built by Donato Bramante, in about 1502.  It is meant to mark the traditional exact spot of St. Peter’s martyrdom, and is a precursor to Bramante’s rebuilding of St. Peter’s.  It influenced the building of many other domes, including that over the US Congress.

Basilica Di San Clemente al Laterano is dedicated to Pope Clement I. There is: (1) the present basilica built just before the year 1100; (2) beneath the present basilica is a 4th-century basilica that had been converted out of the home of a Roman nobleman, part of which had in the 1st century briefly served as an early church, and the basement of which had in the 2nd century briefly served as a mithraeum (a temple dedicated to the Roman  God Mithras); (3) the home of the Roman nobleman had been built on the foundations of republican era villa and warehouse that had been destroyed in the Great Fire of 64 AD.

Way back in 2010, I got to go to a seminar given by Walter Álvarez in Coldigioco, Italy.  In 1981, Walter had discovered evidence that led to an explanation for the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs 65 million years ago.  He found in the mountains just outside of Gubbio Italy a thin line of iridium, which is common in asteroids but uncommon on earth.  As it turned out, a huge crater just off the coast of the Yucatan was later discovered.  The Chicxulub Crater showed that an asteroid about 6 miles wide had hit the earth, causing first a firestorm – and also sending lots of debris up into the atmosphere,  which caused a prolonged winter.  This one / two punch did the dinosaurs in – not all a bad thing, since it gave mammals a chance to flourish and evolve into us.  Below that line of iridium, the layer of rock shows lots of evidence of life forms.  Just above it, it was mostly mud.  It wasn’t just the dinosaurs that died off from the global disaster.

Anyway, after we went to the site outside of Gubbio, we had a few hours to walk around the town.  I was completely taken by the architecture – and especially all the neat doors.  It’s not original – I’m sure you’ve seen lots of other such collages, but ever since, I wanted to put together a poster with pictures from Gubbio.  So here is my effort.  It’s a big file, so it may take a while to download.  Gubbio is worth the wait; my poster may or may not be.



I took the subway and bus out to the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid.  As you can see, it was a mild, beautiful, sunny January day.

Universidad (1/24)