Everyone knows the disagreement between Argentina and Britain over the Falklands or Malvinas, as the Argentines prefer to call it. With the Summer Olympics arriving in London this year, one Argentine athlete decided to stir a little patriotism with an insult to the British.
Argentine hockey captain Fernando Zylerberg traveled to the Falklands capitol of Stanley and surreptitiously did some training by running and stretching around Falkland landmarks while being videoed. Back in Argentina, the video was turned it into an in-your-face video to the British with this slogan:
“To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil.”
As can be expected, the British and Falklanders were not pleased. Zylerberg was criticized for secretly having his training caught on camera. This is an argument that one might expect from the old Soviet Union rather than a free society. No one is accusing Zylerberg of illegally entering the Falklands. If they didn’t want an Argentine in the Falklands, then they shouldn’t have allowed him in. If it is illegal to shoot a training video on British soil, even for a country that is in a territorial dispute with Britain, that doesn’t speak well for British liberties.
The British seem particularly upset that the video does not show any Falklanders and that at one point Zylerberg kisses the islands’ soil.
The British will have an opportunity to get even this summer. They can do that either by outperforming Argentina in the games or booing their athletes as they enter the stadium or are announced for competitions. Whining about an athlete who pulled a propaganda coup under their noses isn’t going to do anything to generate sympathies towards the British cause in the Falklands.