Argentina's government on Tuesday condemned remarks by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said that Britain played a role in "righting a profound wrong" in its 1982 war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands.
Cameron made the statement on Monday, the 30th anniversary of Argentina's invasion of the Falklands, amid heightened tensions over Argentina's long-standing claim to the islands.
"We are rightly proud of the role Britain played in righting a profound wrong," Cameron said in his written statement. "Britain remains staunchly committed to upholding the right of the Falkland Islanders, and of the Falkland Islanders alone, to determine their own future."
The islanders overwhelmingly say they want to remain British.
But Argentina's Foreign Ministry said Cameron's comments reflect "persistent glorification of colonialism."
"To use the words of the prime minister, 'a profound wrong' is precisely to persist with colonialism," Argentina's government said in a statement. "That's the history of the United Kingdom, and millions of human beings around the world can still bear testament to that today."
Britain, which has controlled the Falklands since 1833, sent forces to the islanders' defense when Argentine forces invaded on April 2, 1982. The 74-day occupation ended when British troops routed the Argentines.
In all, 255 British soldiers, 649 Argentines and three islanders were killed.
Argentina's claim to the islands, which are known in Latin America as "Las Malvinas," has widespread support across the region. Argentina also received moral backing last week from a group of Nobel Peace Prize winners who scolded Britain for ignoring U.N. resolutions urging talks.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's government said in a statement that "today Argentina has a solid regional bloc that supports them in their sovereign cause."
Argentina has recently stepped up efforts to put both political and economic pressure on Britain due to the dispute.
President Cristina Fernandez's government said in its statement on Tuesday that it was wrong for Britain to expel Argentines from the islands in 1833.