Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On this day - Falklands

March 26, 1982.

The Argentine military junta decides to invade the islands. (Although most of us didn't know it I wouldn't be surprised if the security services had some idea that something was brewing.)


Argentina is in deep economic trouble; Throughout 1981, inflation sky-rockets to over 600%, GDP is down 11.4%, manufacturing output is down 22.9%, and real wages by 19.2% [Rock: p 375-378]. In addition, Mass disappearances of people in the hands of the military juntas causes significant unrest.

The third dictatorship president since the 1976 coup, General Leopoldo
launches a military invasion of the islands, code named OperaciĆ³n Rosario. The invasion is planned by the commander of the Navy Admiral Jorge Anaya to be launched on one of the most important national celebrations (The revolution anniversary on May 25th or Independence day on July 9th). Its main purpose is to divert public attention from the distressing internal problems and restore the long lost popularity and prestige of the dictatorship.

Due to the mounting pressures on the government, and mass union
demonstrations in late March, the date of the invasion is moved earlier to April
2nd in an act of desperation.


I have highlighted the sentence about the purpose because despite what some on the left like to claim it was the typical response of an unpopular dictator - find a distraction when things aren't going well at home. I have yet to see any convincing data that claims otherwise but if the racts change.....

At this time I was still in Germany going about my normal business and oblivious to what was going on, like most of the UK population I suspect.

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