Argentine president main speaker at Falklands war ceremony and enshrinement of “Our Lady of Malvinas”

Argentine president Cristina Fernandez will be the main speaker at the commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of the start of the Falklands/Malvinas war, to be held April second in the city of Ushuaia and which will also include a political-religious ceremony.

In effect the image of the so called ‘Our Lady of Malvinas’ that was blessed by Pope Francis and has visited all of Argentina’s provinces, and even Antarctic territories will be formally enshrined in the most southern city of the world, which according to Argentine law is the capital of the Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands (including Malvinas) province.

The news was announced by the organizers of the Ushuaia rally to take place next to the monument to the fallen in the Malvinas war by the Beagle Channel. It will be a special occasion since it will be the last time Cristina Fernandez will head the ceremony as president, since she is stepping down next December.

According to local representatives from the Victory Front of Cristina Fernandez, the president will be attending with several ministers and top officials from her administration.

“It will be a great honor and motive of pride to be next to the president and Malvinas veterans, knowing how dear the Malvinas question is for the people of Tierra del Fuego”, said federal representative Martin Perez.

According to political sources Cristina Fernandez, as she did back in 2012 when the 30th anniversary, will spend a few hours in Ushuaia. However several of her ministers, cabinet chief Anibal Fernandez and Federal Planning minister Julio De Vido will also attend the April first vigil in the city of Rio Grande, a traditional ceremony in which thousands of locals and veterans gather to wait for the arrival of April second when in 1982 Argentine troops invaded the Falkland Islands to claim sovereignty by force.

By a special federal bill, Law 26.846 from 2013, Rio Grande was declared “Malvinas Vigil National Capital”. The ceremony includes singing the Argentine national anthem at mid night and campers sharing hot drinks and meals, while artists perform.

In this occasion according to the organizers of the event, Alejandro (Alexander) Betts, “the Falklander of British origin who decided to become Argentine” will be talking about the Malvinas Islands.

However the main ceremony with the participation of Cristina Fernandez will be the enshrining of the “Our Lady of the Malvinas” virgin, which reached Ushuaia after two years of peregrination visiting the 23 Argentine provinces and even the Marambio base in Antarctica, plus the blessing by Pope Francis last year in Rome.

Apparently the idea of the “Our Lady of the Malvinas” virgin image was first launched by former Buenos Aires city cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, (now Pope Francis) back in 2012 together with a group of war veterans, and was donated to the Malvinas fallen next of kin national Commission.

The image is a replica of the ‘Our Lady of Luján’ which stands at the Argentine memorial in the Falklands.

“The virgin will now be placed in a special shrine next to the cenotaph that remembers our heroes in the Islas Malvinas square in Ushuaia” said Carlos Llamas, head of the local veterans association.

Llamas added he was confident that all the ceremonies planned in Tierra del Fuego would be attended by veterans families from all over Argentina. “People have always been next to us and we trust they will continue. Each year is a renewed commitment that the Malvinas cause will never the abandoned”.

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MercoPress is an independent news agency started in 1993 which focuses on delivering news related to the Mercosur trade and political bloc, and member countries, covering an area of influence which includes South America, the South Atlantic and insular territories. MercoPress offers an update of the main events which model the Mercosur integration process, the current customs union, its influence on the main players of the region as well as the relations with other economic-political spaces.

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