A new 50-peso bill will begin circulating in Argentina in March featuring the map of the Falkland Islands– an English-speaking region of the United Kingdom the government of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner continues to insist belongs to Argentina.
The bill was first announced last year as a possibility, and will begin circulating in banks next month. The Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina announced the bill as an homage to the “Malvinas,” as Argentines call the islands, as well as South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, all of which are off the shores of Argentina but traditionally British territories.
The front of the bill features a map of the Falkland Islands along with a map of South America, to highlight the support Argentina has received against the UK on their sovereignty claim from their neighbors. The back of the bill features Gaucho Antonio Rivero, a folk hero who is said to have attacked the Falkland Islands in Argentina’s name in 1833, killing six British citizens.
Los kelpers se burlan del billete homenaje a Malvinas. Algunos medios y comunicadores argentinos, también. pic.twitter.com/d9NfHJ2lJv
— Casa Rosada (@CasaRosadaAR) February 24, 2015
This tweet displaying both sides of the bill, published on the official page of the office of President Fernández de Kirchner (the Pink House), notes that the residents of the Falkland Islands (known locally as “kelpers”) have already begun to mock it.
The UK Telegraph, noting that the 50 Peso bill is worth only £3.70, compiles some of this ridicule, as well. One particularly aggressive pro-British Falklands Twitter account has joked that he is “surprised they can afford a colour printer” and that inflation reduced the value of the bill by half in the time it took to print it.
The ridicule is of little surprise. Argentina lost a costly war against the UK in 1983 after invading and attempting to reclaim the islands. Attempts by the Argentine government to reclaim them have been perennially marred by the fact that virtually no one living there identifies as Argentine. According to the latest Falkland Islands census, taken in 2012, found that 81.6% of those living on the island identify purely as Falkland Islanders or British citizens; the rest identify as either Chilean or from the island of St. Helena.
The Falkland Islands boasted 2,932 residents in the latest census.
Further humiliation for the Kirchner government on the Falklands issue would compound what is becoming an increasingly difficult year for the Pink House since the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman on January 18. Nisman was found with a gunshot wound in his dead the day before he was to testify before the Argentine legislator alleging that Fernández de Kircher and her Foreign Minister, Héctor Timerman, had conspired to protect Hezbollah terrorists in exchange for lower gas prices from the government of Iran.