The Argentine Tragedy

01.03.13 3:00 PM ET

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner attends a ceremony at the presidential palace in Lima on March 22. 2010. Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images

Unable to address domestic economic troubles, Argentina's populist authoritarian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner compensates by stirring international conflict over the Falkland Islands, whose English-speaking population almost unanimously wants to remain British.

Thirty years after Britain and Argentina went to war over the Falklands, Argentina's populist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has returned to the fray with a blistering attack on British "colonialism" and a demand to hand back "Las Malvinas". In a stinging letter to David Cameron, Fernández urges the UK to abide by a 1960 United Nations resolution urging member states to "end colonialism in all its forms and manifestations".

Britain should begin negotiations over the sovereignty of the islands, which were "forcibly stripped" from Argentina exactly 180 years ago, on 3 January 1833, she tells the prime minister.

The fact that oil and gas have been found in Falklands waters may explain the timing of this letter much more than any jib-jab about colonialism - a practice, by the way, at which Argentines have in their turn more than excelled.