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EDITIONS
 Breakfast Wednesday, 3 April, 2002, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
The Falklands War: an exile's view
Anti British demonstrators in Argentina during the Falklands war
Celia watched the demonstrations in Argentina from the other side of the world
The long running dispute over the sovereignty of the Falklands reached its climax in the Spring of 1982 when Argentine troops invaded the islands.

Britain sent a task force to re-capture the islands, and the two countries found themselves at war.

Celia Susterman is from Argentina but lives in Britain.

In the third of our Falklands series, she tells Breakfast what it was like to be living here at the time of the conflict, exactly twenty years ago.


Celia Susterman: a view of The Falklands

"When I heard about the sinking of the Belgrano that was the worst moment of the whole conflict and when I heard how many Argentines had died at the time I was totally distressed.

"And also because at the time they said the first news was as we know that the Belgrano had been sailing away from the islands. So I was shocked at the time because I thought how come they're changing the rules of engagement without any warning.

British newspaper coverage was very patriotic
"This is not fair play this is not what I have always thought and believed about the UK. So again that was a very difficult moment in a way because not only the fact of all these young men dying but also in conditions, this wasn't war this was unfairness as I saw it.

"I was always torn apart by images of jingoism which I thought offensive, but at the same time, equally distressed by jingoistic images coming from Argentina.

"So I felt, it was a very strange time, very schizophrenic because I couldn't feel that I was with either side.

"I saw the demonstrations in the main square, and I was horrified because they were so similar to the images that I had seen at the time of the World Cup

"At the time, I had been totally taken aback by those manifestations of joy in the middle of what I knew was the most terrible repression, people disappearing and being tortured whatever, I knew it because I had friends who had disappeared.

"My friends in Argentina knew as little about the Falklands - Malvinas - and life on the islands as I did before arriving in this country.

"We didn't have much information at all we just had this constant insistence that the Malvinas belonged to Argentina that Britain had taken them by force at the height of her imperial and colonial power and therefore that right was on our side.

"So then there was this huge disappointment when Argentina lost the war: not just that the islands would become Argentine but also the fact of winning a war - being defeated in a war that counts."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Celia Susterman on the Falklands, BBC Breakfast
an Argentinian woman living in Britain on the Falklands War
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18 Mar 02 | Politics

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