Jan. 21 — While NATO prolongs the proxy war against Russia that it provoked 11 months ago as it extended eastward, the imperialist military alliance is also expanding its role in South America. A Jan. 19 article in the German daily newspaper junge Welt reported, “On Friday [Jan. 13], Kosovo Security Forces landed on the British NATO base at Mount Pleasant in the Malvinas archipelago.”
The Malvinas Islands, which British colonialists have called the “Falkland Islands” since they seized them in 1833, lie 300 miles off mainland Argentina and about 8,000 miles from London in the South Atlantic Ocean.
Leaders of the British and Kosovar regimes reportedly met throughout the fall of 2022 to discuss Kosovar Security Force deployments on the Malvinas Islands. The arrival of KSF troops in the region is the newest round of attacks by British imperialism in the dispute over the Malvinas, marked by a 1982 war.
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry stated: “The government strongly rejects the intention to send new military troops to the Malvinas Islands, Argentine territory illegitimately occupied by [Britain], which constitutes an unjustified show of force and a deliberate departure from the calls of numerous international resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and other international forums.” (MercoPress, Dec. 2, 2022)
The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has condemned the deployment. This British maneuver is one more example of how NATO’s continuous war drive is assaulting the Global South and arousing resistance.
How anti-imperialists perceive the Malvinas Islands conflict
The British Navy first seized the Malvinas by military force in 1833, briefly making it a military outpost. This colonial seizure came at the expense of Argentina, which had become independent of the Spanish crown in 1818 and had claimed its nearby islands.
In April of 1982, Argentine forces retook the islands from Britain for a short period. Argentina was controlled then by a murderous, anti-communist military junta, led by General Leopoldo Galtieri. Up to that time, the junta’s imprisonment, torture and murder of Argentine patriots and communists had full support from U.S. imperialism and its agents in President Ronald Reagan’s sadministration, as well as from Britain.
Under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Britain then re-invaded the Malvinas. Washington did a quick about-face and backed its imperialist junior partner in London to the hilt, treating the Argentine junta, many of whose members were trained at the “School of the Americas” in Fort Benning, Georgia, as disposable puppets and patsies.
Some 250 British troops died in the 10-week war, along with 750 Argentines. Most Argentine casualties happened after the war had, de facto, ended, and a British punitive assault sunk the Cruiser Beltrano.
Anti-imperialists forces in 1982, including Workers World Party, supported Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas, despite the reactionary character of the junta regime in Buenos Aires, as did nearly all Latin American governments. Argentina was and is an oppressed country in the Global South; Britain was and is a leading repressive force of world imperialism.
The Argentinian working class suffered the most from the British invasion and attempted theft but was able to recover and eject the junta.
WWP’s position was in the same tradition as the 1935 anti-imperialist defense of Ethiopia, when the country was attacked by fascist Italy and the world working-class movement defended Ethiopia, even though it was ruled by the absolute monarchy of Haile Selassie. The main enemy of the people of the world was and is world imperialism.
Argentina voted against NATO
In February 2008, Western imperialists and NATO officially recognized Kosovo — which had been a province of Serbia when Serbia was one nation in the multinational country of Yugoslavia — as “independent” of Serbia. Critics of the move fearfully predicted Kosovo would become militarily colonized and weaponized by NATO, as has happened. Material conditions inside Kosovo have turned out to be disastrous for the people in the province, especially for the Serbian and Roma minorities. A majority of the people in Kosovo are Albanian.
Along with 60% of the countries that make up the United Nations, Argentina rejected Kosovo’s “independence.” The Pentagon still maintains a major military base, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo, with some 7,000 U.S. troops, as it has since the U.S.-NATO’s 1999 assault destroyed Yugoslavia.
This robbery of Kosovo was part of NATO’s push to privatize Europe under the guise of “decommunization” — a term often used by Ukrainian officials today.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia expressed solidarity with Argentina and opposition to the presence of Kosovar troops in the Malvinas. They expressed surprise that “such a step comes from a permanent member of the Security Council, which, as is known, is the highest U.N. body in charge of preserving international peace and security.” (United World, Dec. 28, 2022)
To stay on the right side of historical progress, Workers World Party raises these three slogans with regard to this latest event: “Abolish NATO!” “Malvinas belong to Argentina!” and “Kosovo is Serbia!”