U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives on Thursday to recognize the recent Falkland Islands referendum.
"As Americans, we have long cherished the principle of self-determination, and stand in solidarity with the islanders in their choice to retain their status as a British Overseas Territory," Diaz-Balart said in a statement.
Residents of the South Atlantic island group held a referendum on March 10 and 11 to determine whether they wished to remain a British Overseas Territory, with islanders voting 99.8 percent in favor of retaining their status within the U.K.
Argentina controlled las Malvinas briefly in 1832-33, but Britain had occupied them for nearly a century when Argentine forces invaded the Falklands and the nearby British territory of South Georgia in 1982, provoking the Falklands War.
Despite a successful outcome for the U.K. and restoration of relations in 1989, neither side has rescinded its claims to the islands.
Saying the islanders had made their wishes clear, Diaz-Balart urged his "colleagues and the international community to respect the overwhelming results of the referendum and honor the right of self-determination for free people."
A bipartisan group of 15 House members, including Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa and John Campbell of California, joined him as original co-sponsors.
The text of the resolution is available here (PDF).
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OCTOBER 31, 2014
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