Business as Usual: Arming the Junta (1976–1979)
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This chapter shows that FCO officials thought that the military coup in Argentina would be beneficial for British businesses. It provides evidence that FCO officials tried to persuade British newspapers to tone down their coverage of human rights abuses in Argentina and sought to dissuade Labour ministers from imposing any sanctions on Argentina. It describes the warm welcome that the British business community gave to the junta’s finance minister during a visit to Britain. It also explains why British human rights campaigns on Argentina were so weak. It catalogues the visits by Argentine military officers to Britain and shows how the FCO and Ministry of Defence officials encouraged the sale of arms to the Argentine regime, despite the threat to the Falklands and the junta’s human rights abuses.