The British Embassy in Colombia made an embarrassing gaffe when it referred to the Falklands Islands using the Argentinian name ‘Malvinas’.
The embassy’s Twitter account, @UKinColombia, repeatedly issued tweets containing the name advertising a debate on the future of the fought-over islands.
The use of the term ‘Malvinas’ is an embarrassment because it goes against the Government’s policy of always calling them the Falkland Islands.
The embassy tweeted about the ‘Foro Referendo Malvinas Falkland’ (debate called the Malvinas Falklands Forum’) on April, the 31st anniversary of the Falklands conflict, in which the British fought the Argentinians to retain the islands in the South Atlantic.
It was a humiliating error for Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby, who was appointed the new British Ambassador to Bogotá in November.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was simply repeating the name of the debate, that had been set up by the Universidad Externado in Bogotá.
A spokeswoman told The Times: “Staff should be reminded it should be referred to as the Falkland Islands.
“Possibly putting it in inverted commas next time would be sensible.’
But several Argentinians on Twitter picked up on the slip, and were delighted by it.
Argentina invaded the Falklands on April 2 1982, and the ensuing war over the islands lasted for 74 days and claimed the lives of 255 British military personnel, 649 Argentinians, and three Falkland Islanders.
A referendum on the issue of whether the Islands should remain a British territory was held last month and resulted in only three of 1,517 valid ballots voting ‘No’, with the others voting in favour of the status quo.
Cristina Kirchner, president of Argentina, dismissed the referendum as a ‘parody’.