Difficult for Osvaldo Aguirre, a former Argentine soldier, to accept having to go with a passport to a territory he once defended against a colonial power.
On April 2, 1982, Argentina launched a military operation with the aim of retaking the Malvinas Islands, which had been under British control since the 19th century. The war lasted just over 10 weeks and ended with victory for the United Kingdom.
Although 40 years have passed, the war still casts a shadow over people in Argentina, especially veterans of the Falklands War.
“The most unforgettable memory was the fighting on the evening of May Day, when the British Navy surprised us with heavy shelling, the scale of which was haunting,” said Ramon Lopez, President of the Veterans Federation of the United Kingdom. Argentine Republic, at CGTN. in an interview.
For Juan Carlos Sosa, secretary of the veterans’ organization, the most enduring memory is when he and his fellow soldiers were strafed by British warplanes. “We were still transported by trucks on our way to the front line.”
Aguirre, who became a prisoner in the final moments of the war, said he was held by British troops for 30 days in a deserted slaughterhouse. “The conditions were really terrible. We had a meal every 16 hours and we didn’t have access to a bathroom.
The scars of war continue to haunt Argentines, who have consistently demanded that Britain return to the negotiating table and face the legacy of colonialism.
“Our government is seeking to reclaim Malvinas sovereignty through peaceful means, but Britain has so far failed to respond to our request,” Lopez said.
The war has traumatized Latin America, Sosa said. “This hegemony of these countries which are imperialist in which they absolutely do not care about the people and their sovereignty. What is important for them is to be able to conquer or appropriate territories that are close to their hearts and let’s keep in mind that Malvinas occupies a very important global strategic position for everyone and also a very important commercial stake.14