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Falklands again? Why Argentina's Kirchner keeps pushing the issue with Britain.

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Though Britain may take the view that Kirchner is beating a dead horse, the Falklands are a longstanding national cause for Argentina and are written into its Constitution. Today's letter represents what are described here in Argentina as "Nac & Pop" policies.

"Nac & Pop" stands for national and popular, the way Kirchner defines her government. She casts reclaiming the Falklands, over which Britain and Argentina fought a short war in 1982, as a South American struggle against neocolonialism.

Britain recently named a slice of Antarctica over which Argentina also has a claim "Queen Elizabeth Land," a move branded by a source at the Argentine presidential palace as “provocative and childish.”

“If it occurs to the British Empire to attack the Falklands, Argentina won’t be alone this time,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said last year. With Chávez’s future uncertain due to recent health concerns, Kirchner could be trying to position herself as the leader who replaces him as the resounding voice of the South American left.

Kirchner also made a stand over the Falklands at the UN’s decolonization committee last year, and sanctioned a controversial TV commercial showing an Argentine field hockey player training for last summer’s London Olympics in Port Stanley, the islands’ capital.

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