Argentine Veteran Rejects Dance with Falklander
An Argentine veteran of the Falklands War has refused to pair with a resident of the islands in the local version of "Dancing with the Stars" in protest over British control of the territory.
Esteban Tries said that dancing with the British resident would be an insult to participants in the 1982 war over the South Atlantic archipelago known as the Malvinas that left 649 Argentines and 255 British dead.
"The Malvinas are priceless and cannot be made into a show," he said.
"We cannot speak of those killed in combat and then dance reggaeton. It shows a lack of respect."
The flap at the most popular Argentine TV show, known in Spanish as "Bailando por un Sueno" ("Dancing for a Dream") comes with tensions rising ahead of the 30th anniversary of the conflict with Britain.
Tries said he returned to the islands 10 years ago for the 20th anniversary of the war, and noted that "I could not come close to a Kelper," a reference to British Falklands residents.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, who was visiting Chile this week, maintained her rhetoric over the disputed islands, calling British rule an "anachronism."
"There are 16 colonial enclaves in the world, 10 of which are British," she said in Santiago. "This is an anachronism and an affront to humanity."
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, voiced his "most firm respect" for Argentina in the dispute.
Tensions have flared anew since 2010, when Britain authorized oil companies to explore for oil in Falklands waters, and have sharpened with the deployment of a British warship to the islands.
In late February, Argentina refused permission to two British cruise ships seeking to dock on southern Argentina after visiting the Falklands.
Argentine troops seized the islands on April 2, 1982, only to be routed by British forces 74 days later.