The battle over the Falkland Islands has escalated, not with bombs
and bullets but instead with bank notes.
In early March, the Banco Central de la República Argentina released
a new 50-peso note dedicated to the defense of Argentina’s claimed
sovereignty over two British overseas territories — the Falkland
Islands and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
The new series features a title translating to “Falkland Islands, a
The design includes a map of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia
and South Sandwich, symbolically representing Argentina’s claimed
sovereignty over the archipelago.
Britain contends that it has sovereignty over the Falklands but
Argentina also lays claim to the islands, which it calls Las Malvinas.
Tensions notably escalated in 1982 when both nations fought a
short-lived war over the claim. Though Britain defeated Argentina, the
South American nation continues to dispute British claims to the region.
The face of the note shows the regional map, with a lighthouse and
golden sun at far left serving as security features.
A line drawing of the albatross that makes the region home is also
seen on the face.
The reverse is equally rich in symbolism.
Dominating the scene is Antonio “El Gaucho” Rivero, a gaucho (cattle
herder) who murdered five officials and settlers at Port Louis on the
Falkland Islands on Aug. 26, 1833, during the early days of British
rule. The Argentinians would eventually view Rivero as a folk hero in
the battle against British rule.
The lightship ARA General Belgrano, which was destroyed during the
conflict of 1982, and a gull (native to both Argentina and the
Falklands) representing peace, appear on the note’s back.
Flowers buttress the Darwin cemetery, where the remains are buried
of some of those who died in the 1982 battle.
The note is equivalent to about $5.69 in U.S. funds.
Other current 50-peso notes with different designs remain valid and
are not being replaced by the Malvinas issue.
Brits and Falkland Islanders used social media to poke fun at
Argentina for issuing the note.
This is not the first time that Argentina has memorialized the
“Malvinas” conflict on its money; in 2007, the central bank issued a
circulating commemorative 2-peso coin, as well as several collector
coins, to mark the battle’s 25th anniversary.
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