Why didn't the Soviets take the advantage of the conflict between Argentina and the UK in 1982 to expand their influence in South America?

During the conflict of the Falklands sovereignty in 1982, there was a chance for the Soviets to side with Argentina so they could build up their influence in South America posing a threat to the U.S., but the Soviets didn’t grab the chance. Why?
Thank you.

At the time, Argentina was run by a fanatically anticommunist junta.

Thank you.
So if the then ruling junta had not been anticommunists, the situation could have been different. Am I right?

I really can’t imagine the Soviets offering anything more than rhetorical support in this situation. Maybe if Argentina had a very left-leaning government à la Nicaragua… but in that case, the Soviets would presumably already have influence.

Another major factor is how short the whole thing was.

A ten week long war, and that included the travel time for the UK forces to get to the Falklands. The Soviets just didn’t have the capability to respond to this in any meaningful way in time to do anything.

I see. Thank you Chad_Sudan.

Thank you for your opinion. Had the war been prolonged, the history could have been rewritten I presume.

I would like to offer another possibility that is based upon discussions I was privileged to be in the room for and overhear that I can not support with books or published articles (perhaps those I was listening to could provide some substantive evidence but I am no longer in that circle.)

I have heard that tight control has always been a hallmark of Soviet tactics and strategy. There was a strong argument that Cuba was a huge mistake and a costly one. Essentially that Mother Russia wanted to plant a burr under the saddle of the United States by having nuclear weapons so very close- but that it was costly and time consuming and eventually more trouble than it was worth. It used up tons of resources that could have been better used in Eastern Europe.

When Kennedy gave them a reason, they gratefully pulled out because it was just too damn far from from home. Frankly, the USSR had more to worry about in their own backyard and projecting power into the Western Hemisphere – while tempting – was just bad business. Look how closely they tried to control East Germany and how successful they were and then imagine them contemplating spending a lot of military and political capital influencing a single island or even a single nation far, far away.

While screwing with the West must have been tempting, it just wasn’t worth the effort.
(The US may have even helped teach them this lesson a decade or so before when we involved ourselves in a conflict in Southeast Asia – clean across the globe, and had very limited success. Play in your own sandbox is good advice; Argentina is not in their sandbox.)

Thank you for your “playing in your own sandbox” perspective.

And the Kremlin and the generals were not united behind Khrushchev’s Cuban tactic, for all the reasons noted above. Khrushchev thought he could bully JFK, taking advantage of his inexperience and blundering over the Bay of Pigs and Berlin, to score some points at home and abroad. Others thought it was “adventurism,” risky, and with no clear strategic aim or tactical flexibility. K’s bluff was called.
Is Ukraine similar? Not really. The first step to thinking through the comparison is to look at a map.

Quite possibly, but bear in mind the war went really quickly. While Argentina had been grousing about it for a long time, it was a remarkably quick crisis and the nature of the war was such that it could not have been prolonged. Had Argentina a much greater supply of Exocets they might well have won the war, but it wouldn’t have been any LONGER.

If Argentina had been amenable to Soviet influence, the Soviets would have influenced them - there would be no reason to wait for the Falklands War to do that. They’d have already been working with Argentina.

True. Thank you, RickJay.