We started these posts two months ago, when the Falklands government officially announced the referendum was going to happen in March. Today, we finish posting them (although the blog will continue as always!). Now, it is time to listen to what the Falkland Islanders have to say.
Coincidentally, today and tomorrow are important days too. And for very similar reasons, the same reasons that make the referendum so important. Today, it is Women’s International day. Tomorrow, it’ll be my birthday. You may wonder what’s the connection. Indeed, sounds a bit odd, but let me explain myself.
Women’s International Day represents the fight of women for equality with men. For their right to count. For their right to participate. For their right to have voice and be listened. Not long ago that seemed utopian. Nowadays, in most States it is a tangible reality. In some, there is still work to do. But mankind as a whole has acknowledge the issue and we’re all doing something about it (or at least, that’s what I hope). The international society evolved.
I’ll be 37 years old tomorrow. Indeed, I was born in 1976 and in Argentina. So you can already see if you know a bit of history: I was born literally days before the military government went in power. I was in Argentina when the Falklands war happened. I even remember Ms Thatcher. And in fact, one of my cousins went to war. He was a teenager at that time. Some of my primary and secondary school friends lost their parents at that time, they were what they call in Argentina ‘desaparecidos’.
Argentina lost the war. Democracy came with Alfonsin, followed by Menem, De la Rua, and Kirchner. With them, lots of problems came too. But there was something else different, something positive. People had a voice again. People didn’t disappear because they had said or written something. Sometimes they were (are) listened, sometimes they weren’t (aren’t) but they can say what they want. Argentina’s society evolved.
On Sunday and Monday the Falkland Islanders will have the opportunity to speak up, to use their voice. Some may listen to them, some may not. But what’s for sure, no one will be able to ignore them (although pretending to do so).
It is against United Nations rules some may say. They removed the original population and were implanted some others may argue. They all are missing the point: you may try and silence people, you may ignore what they want to say, but you cannot silence the power of an idea, specially when that idea has to do with everlasting and worldwide recognised values. We all have the same worth. We all have the same right to speech.
For that never again in the world exists place where people can be silenced.