Falklands Legacy

Apropos of nothing apart from the reason I thought this story of how Argentinan veterans are being treated back home was very interesting - told from a conscript's perspective...

For most Argentinans the belief that Las Malvinas (as they call the Falklands) belong to Argentina is as much a part of their national identity as Eva Peron, Maradona or the tango. But while the national preoccupation with their sovereign right over the Falklands has never dimmed, Argentina's treatment of its veterans has been one of the most shameful legacies of the war.

"We had no clothes, no boots, sometimes no guns," he says. "We had to take it in turns to eat while next to us the officers ate pasta. They sent us to fight and we hadn't had food for three days. Three of our comrades died of hunger. We drank out of holes in the ground while our superiors drank Coca-Cola."

But he says the real hell began when they got home. Argentina is a country that doesn't like losers. When Pucci and his surviving comrades first left their homes they were told they would return as heroes. Coming home defeated two months later, they were dumped at the port town of Ushuaia and told to make their own way home.

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