|image credit from HERE.|
"One hundred and eighty years ago on this same date, January 3rd, in a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism, Argentina was forcibly stripped of the Malvinas Islands, which are situated 14,000 km (8700 miles) away from London."Stop right there! Argentina, as it is now known, didn't exist 180 years ago. Take a look at the diagram below which shows de facto control over the Falkland Islands since 1760 (records have British presence - but not officially established - some 70 years prior to this. This diagram and a very clear de facto timeline HERE (Wiki). Important: please note the (i) orange and (ii) single black line 'Argentina' sections prior to continuous UK control:
(i) this refers to the two and one third years of control by the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata, which constituted at various stages all of modern day Paraguay and Uruguay, most of Bolivia and parts of Brazil and Chile: the only fly in the ointment is that the UK officially recognized independence of United Provinces in 1825 (along with a Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, signed by the marvellously named Woodbine Parish), but "like the US did not recognise the full extent of the territory claimed by the new state." Throughout the entire the war of independence period (1810-1831) there were constant serious conflicts between various ever-changing factions about how the state should be organised and what political aims the revolutionary governments should have; this ceased to exist in 1831. (ii) this ONE MONTH period refers to the Argentine Confederation, a loose Confederation of Provinces with no head of state; for much of which time Buenos Aires considered itself an independent state.
OK, all the above can easily be rubbished as both the above are considered former names of what is the modern Argentina, well according to their 1853 constitution anyway (Article 35, page 6 [PDF]), and I imagine eighty to ninety percent of countries in the world would have to hand something back to someone using the same principles. However, there is the 1850 Convention of Settlement, signed in 1849 that seems to make clear the re-establishment of 'perfect Relations of Friendship between Her Britannic Majesty and the Argentine Confederation'; to settle "the existing differences" between the two countries and in fact the Convention is understood to concede Argentina's claim to the Falkland Islands.** Off on a tangent: we won't mention their genocide of the Mapuches during the Argentine annexation of Patagonia in 1870.
Roger Lawton LLB(Hons), M.Phil. "The Falkland Islands History & Timeline". [Link] Superb info!
The Falklands / Malvinas Case: Breaking the Deadlock in the Anglo-Argentine by Roberto C. Laver, page 123
Humbert F. Burzio: “Rozas, el empréstito inglés de 1824 y las Islas Malvinas”, in Boletín del Centro Naval, Buenos Aires, January/February 1944, p. 647ff.
Update 4th Jan: Two good pieces to read: Ben Macintyre in today's The Times (£) and Azeem Ibrahim in HuffPost (from April 2010).