Over the past year, there have been a number of protests at ports in Argentina against cruise ships which stop in the Falkland Islands.
Argentina asserts sovereignty of what Argentinians refer to as the "Malvinas." Britain claimed sovereignty over the islands in the late 1700s; Argentina claimed possession in 1820; and the islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965.
The dispute resulted in a war between Britain and Argentina back in 1982, resulting in a death toll of 900 between the two countries.
Cruise ship flying the "red ensign’ flag (U.K., Bermuda) have been the target of protests which have resulted in the ships not being permitted to dock or detained at port.
With the discovery of oil on the islands, the matter has become even more contentious. Several Patagonian provinces have passed what is called the "Gaucho Rivero bill" which bans the calling of red ensign vessels linked to the Falklands’ oil industry. Certain groups have interpreted this bill to include all ships flying the red ensign flag including cruise ships.
Last weekend a protest was staged when the Star Princess operated by Princess Cruises arrived in the Argentinian port of Ushuaia. Protesters posted banners protesting the arrival of the cruise ship and burned tires outside the fence of the port.
The newspaper Merco Press covered the story and posted photographs (below) of the demonstration.
The newspaper reported that the Princess cruise ship responded to the demonstrators by blaring "God Save the Queen" though the ship’s loudspeakers.
The protesters blocked access to the port for several hours to express its side of the Falklands / Malvinas dispute. But with the support of what was reported to be "over 200 provincial riot police including mounted police and dogs, plus a hundred members from the Coast Guard," authorities opened another gate at the port to permit excursion buses to take the cruise passengers from the Star Princess on a local tour.
Photo Credit: Merco Press
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