Materion cyfoes o Gymru a'r byd. Current affairs from Wales and the world.
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The Falklands in the south Atlantic.
The reason for the most unexpected and unlikely war...
..in Britain's recent history after Argentina occupied the islands.
It cost hundreds of lives and the bombing of the Sir Galahad...
..was a disaster for the Welsh Guards.
But for Argentina, losing the war was dishonourable.
The feeling of national disgrace continues.
Blood is thicker than water so the war is still painful...
..for Welsh Argentinians in Patagonia.
Welsh soldiers in the British Army and soldiers from Welsh descent...
..in Patagonia were fighting each other.
I love Welsh history and traditions.
But I am also an Argentinian 100%.
And the Malvinas?
The Malvinas belongs to us, belongs to Argentina.
2nd April 1982.
Argentine tanks and heavy artillery rolled into Port Stanley.
Thousands of young soldiers followed to occupy the Falklands...
..300 miles from South America and 8,000 miles from Britain.
Could the UK regain it?
I think the islands must remain for Argentina...
..and they will remain for Argentina.
In the capital, Buenos Aires, there's rejoicing.
The crowd unite to praise the military junta...
..under the General Galtieri's leadership.
They're not the Falklands now but the Malvinas.
I was working in Buenos Aires.
I was one of the thousands who went to celebrate.
There was nothing but celebrations and singing...
The Argentine flag was everywhere.
Everybody was celebrating and we were very happy.
Gaiman in Patagonia.
Buenos Aires is far away and the Falklands crisis even further.
Although only 30 years have passed since the war...
..it feels like another time.
Billy Hughes had just completed his military service in 1982.
He was within a hair's breadth of going to the islands...
..but as he was over 18, he was too old to be called up.
But he wanted to fight for his country.
SING IN SPANISH
Were you ready to fight when the war was on?
Yes, I was ready. Truly.
I thought I would be called up.
To be honest, I was waiting, I was expecting to be called up.
I have to say.
Were you hoping for the call?
I don't know if I was hoping...
..but I'd have happily gone to the Malvinas.
We own the Malvinas, no doubt about it.
You won't go far in this country without seeing signs like this...
..saying the islands belong to Argentina.
The call for them to be returned is louder than ever.
30 years on, there's anger and tension...
..with anti-British protests in Buenos Aires.
Argentina has taken its complaint to the UN.
Patagonia is the nearest South American region to the Falklands.
During the war the residents feared the RAF would attack the mainland.
That didn't happen but the blackout was a reality every night.
I was 10-years-old and lived with my grandparents.
At night, I still remember it, the alarm from a factory...
..near the river here, would sound.
It would go off at about 10.00pm every night.
Every house in the town had to switch off their lights.
How scared were people the Gaiman?
I remember we moved to the other side of the river.
I'd ask, what would happen if a bomb fell on the bridge?
I'm never going to see Nain.
The whole Patagonian coastline went into red alert.
I remember me and my sister hiding under a table...
..in the darkness.
We just waited for the bombs to fall.
That was quite a frightening period of time.
I think that...
..it was the first time I thought maybe I was going to die.
But the threat to Patagonia's people was minimal...
..compared to thousands of young conscripts...
..who were sent to the islands to fight.
Many of them had just left secondary school...
..and received a month's military training.
The cold and hunger mean nothing.
Only God and your motherland.
In Argentina's large towns you'll see centres like this one in Trelew.
They help former soldiers scarred by the war...
..and then treated as a national embarrassment.
Salud. Iechyd da.
The manager is Horacio Kent.
He's from Welsh descent and remembers his grandfather...
..speaking the language.
As an 18-year-old soldier he could hardly hold, let alone shoot, a gun.
By the end, we were starving and cold.
The cold and hunger together are terrible things.
We scraped for food wherever we could.
Some died from food poisoning.
Nobody can suffer anything worse.
In Trelew, in the shadow of Lewis Jones's memorial...
..one of Patagonia's founders, I'm meeting Milton Rhys.
He's another Argentinian of Welsh descent.
He has unique evidence from the eye of the storm.
He was General Menendez's translator...
..the military governor at Government House, Port Stanley.
I realized that Menendez wasn't the real boss.
At the end of the war, as the British forces closed in...
..on Government House, Milton Rhys overheard a row over the phone...
..between Menendez and General Galtieri...
..who refused to believe Argentina had been beaten.
Menendez said it was all over for us.
We didn't have heavy artillery to fight with.
But Galtieri was shouting, "Cowards, go and fight."
Without raising his voice...
..Menendez said he didn't understand the situation.
But the memories aren't all bad.
At the church in Port Stanley, Milton Rhys met a Welsh nurse...
Neither could speak Welsh but as they sang a hymn...
..they realized they came from the same lineage.
They handed out hymn books and I sang the tenor part.
Bronwen sang contralto.
Singing four part harmonies is a Welsh tradition.
It makes the blood run stronger!
It was a very emotional moment.
Happy and sentimental at the same time.
The cost of the war could be counted in more than just numbers.
255 British personnel died.
649 Argentinians were killed.
But for some in Patagonia it hurt that Welshmen...
..and Argentinians of Welsh descent were fighting each other.
It was very sad.
There was no reason for it either.
The Welsh weren't claiming anything for themselves...
..rather then English were doing that.
It was such a pity that soldiers from Wales came to war here...
..and suffered here in this part of the world.
Well, it was very sad. Very sad.
How hard was it to comprehend that Welsh soldiers...
..were fighting soldiers from Welsh descent?
It was very sad.
It's a big world and Wales is a small part of it.
To think we were fighting on a small island.
It's odd that happened.
It's also a pity.
The individual doesn't choose...
..but the governments from the countries who sent the soldiers.
Ricardo Andres Austin didn't go by choice.
He's another of Patagonia's children.
The 18-year-old farmhand had never left his home...
..before going away to fight.
He died during the war's first battle.
A memorial for him was erected at the roadside near his mother's home.
His grandfather spoke Welsh.
His great-grandfather, Thomas Tegai Austin...
..was one of the first Welsh people to come over on the Mimosa in 1865.
For weeks after the war...
..Celinda Austin received very little news about her son.
One message arrived to say he was alive and well.
It took the Army two months to send a letter saying that he'd died.
She fought for many years to make the state pay a worthy pension.
It's nice to be reminded of him, although it's just a statue.
There's a bouquet of flowers in his hands - our family put them there.
Celinda has been to the islands to visit the Argentine cemetery...
..in Darwin - close to where her son died on the battlefield.
Like many young conscripts...
..he's lying in an unmarked grave.
Neither the bodies of the soldiers or the families of the dead...
..got the respect they deserved.
I was hoping to see his grave. No. Almost all the graves are unmarked.
Known only unto god - those are the words on his grave.
Awful - terrible, terrible.
In his last letter from the islands, her son was happy.
He said he wasn't afraid.
He wanted to protect his nation - he's a hero.
June 14th, 1982.
The Marines flying the Union Jack above Government House in Stanley.
In Buenos Aires, three decades on, losing the war still hurts.
The Malvinas are top of the political agenda...
..and the ex-soldiers are finally getting the attention they deserve.
President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner...
..is determined to reclaim the islands.
And in the United Nations...
..Argentina, with the support of other South American countries...
..is arguing for the decolonisation and demilitarisation of the islands.
In Trevelin in the Andes, like everywhere across the country...
..the schools teach children that the Malvinas belong to Argentina...
..in an historic and geographic sense.
Isias Grandis is a school teacher...
..he preaches at the chapel and teaches at the Sunday School.
The islands are part of Argentina.
The majority of young people hate the English...
..because they've stolen these lands.
Why did they come to conquer the islands?
Why do they do that across the world?
It makes us very angry.
Who do they think they are? What are they thinking?
Why do they want more lands?
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, says the people of the Falklands...
..have the right to self-governance.
But there was anger in Buenos Aires...
..when he accused the Argentinians of being colonialists.
David Cameron has said Argentina is being colonialista.
What do you say to that?
He's pulling our legs.
I laugh because when you put it like that...
..England is famous for being a colonialista all over the world.
You just have to look at the world to see where its colonies are.
England is a colonialista. It's in the blood.
Argentina also claims...
..sending Prince William to the islands was an insult...
..on the eve of the 30th anniversary.
It doesn't surprise me. They like to provoke.
They know how to colonise and steal things.
Britain, no matter who the Government is...
..will never be prepared to give them back.
There is more at stake than in 1982.
The islands are prosperous today.
Rich fisheries bring in a good income.
Oil can also be found beneath the sea.
It's hoped large profits could be made if it can be exploited.
We're talking about fishing and we're talking about oil.
People are not stupid.
They say they are keeping the islands to look for anything.
And now we can see...
..the whole word is running out of petroleum, oil.
So, now they search for petrol.
A century ago, their strategy was to rule the world.
Now, it's natural resources.
That's why they insist on being there.
It's not because they're overly concerned...
..about the rights of the 3,000 islanders.
It's because there is such a rich fish stock there.
And you also have the oil.
I believe that is one thing that drives people to war.
Does Britain own these things?
That's what they say, but we don't.
Buenos Aires is looking at the islands' natural resources...
..and uses every diplomatic weapon to put pressure on Britain.
It doesn't currently have the resources or the desire to wage war.
I would like the Malvinas to become part of Argentina once more.
The English can call them the Falkland Islands if they wish.
But it should all be done peacefully.
We should not talk about war again.
People need to sit down and talk.
If the only way for Argentina to reclaim the Malvinas...
..is by going to war, I don't want the Malvinas.
I don't want them through war.
Britain has no intention of giving up sovereignty.
Some families have been in the Falklands for seven generations.
It's their say according to David Cameron.
People have been living there for hundreds of years.
We have to think what would happen to these people, the British.
What would we do with them if we get the Malvinas back?
Throw them in the sea, bring them here or send them to Britain?
You can understand their point. They were born there.
They're English people. They are English people's children.
They feel they are part of England or Britain.
But such is the world, Britain isn't what it once was.
It is no longer an empire.
Even the countries within Britain...
..are separating from each other to some extent.
Scotland, and so on.
There is no future for them as British citizens in the long term.
Their best option is to integrate with Argentina. That would be best.
Integrating the islanders with the South American continent...
..isn't a new or unlikely idea says historian Fernando Williams.
There was always a strong link, especially before the war.
This cemetery in Buenos Aires is proof of the link over 200 years.
Yes, there are many British people.
I do not want to sound offensive to the islanders.
But I believe they may feel they have some sort of debt to pay...
..so that they now try to make out that they are more British...
..than they used to be before the war.
They are trying to create an image of being British...
..without any connections to South America.
From the historic viewpoint, that is completely wrong.
The islanders were part of a large community of British descendants.
That also includes Patagonia.
Is there any hope of creating a new political model...
..which combines a form of self government with shared sovereignty?
Is there an opportunity for co-operation and discussion?
Self government is important.
For us, as Argentinians...
..we should be prepared to listen to the islanders' views.
I do not think that ignoring the islanders is a good idea.
We have to be more creative in order to move forwards.
That's what I believe.
So, you don't think President Kirchner and David Cameron...
..are being very creative now?
Not at all. They're not prepared to consider any new ideas.
This can be a very dangerous thing.
In the centre of Buenos Aires is a memorial...
..to the soldiers who died.
Few Argentinians want a war, but they still lay claim to the islands.
But they do not wish to sacrifice another young life.
In the past, the connection between Britain and Argentina...
..had been a very successful one.
..the Malvinas would be the perfect place to celebrate the fact...
..the fact that this connection has been so successful.
S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Materion cyfoes o Gymru a'r byd. Current affairs from Wales and the world.