As Argentina grows more vocal in its criticism of British plans to drill for oil in the waters around the disputed Falklands Islands (called by Argentines the Islas Malvinas), the South American nation has sent a new ambassador to the U.S. who is well known for his advocacy of Argentina’s claims to the islands over which Argentina and the U.K. fought a brief war in 1982. Jorge Argüello is a politician and former representative to the United Nations who attended high school in the U.S. and is also well known internationally for his support for measures to reverse global warming.
While not a career diplomat, Vilma S. Martínez, the U.S. ambassador to Argentina, has a long history of straddling the worlds of corporate boardrooms and legal defense of minorities. One of the leading voices in Hispanic civil rights since the 1970s, Martínez has run the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and been a part of legal fights on behalf of both documented and undocumented immigrants from Latin America. She also served on the board of directors of beer giant Anheuser-Busch for 25 years. Martínez was confirmed as ambassador by the Senate July 24, 2009.