Sunday 22 April 2012

"Las Malvinas Son Argentinas"

On this day thirty years ago, 22nd April 1982, Argentina philatelically staked its claim to The Falkland Islands, having militarily occupied them twenty days earlier, by issuing a single stamp which had the design of a rosette in Argentinian colours with the inscription "Las Malvinas Son Argentinas" ("The Falklands Are Argentinian") printed in blue across it in four lines.
While the British Task Force continued to sail south towards the islands, on 19 April the Argentinian junta had rejected a peace plan brought to it by the US Secretary Of State, Alexander Haig, unless Britain would agree to transfer sovereignty of The Falklands to Argentina by 31 December 1982 and allow Argentine nationals to settle on the islands. On 20 April, the British War Cabinet had ordered that the islands should be repossessed. On the very day that the Argentinian stamp was issued the British Task Force arrived in Falklands waters and the Argentinian leader, General Galtieri, visited the islands. Thus the stamp was issued amid historic events and is of considerable historical interest itself despite being a small-sized stamp of low face value.

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