Ecuador cancels Israel meetings, Uruguay opens Palestine embassy, Venezuela sends aid to Gaza

August 8, 2014
Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua visiting Palestinian victims of Israel's bombing in hospital. Venezuela is sending 16 ton

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has decided to cancel his visit to Israel, where he had planned meetings with government officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, teleSUR English said on August 6.

Correa cancelled the visit in protest against the atrocities being committed by Israeli forces against the people of Gaza.

During a radio interview, Correa accused Israel of "genocide". He referred to the fact that the Israeli Defense Forces had killed more than 1880 Palestinians in less than a month, mostly civilians, including at least 430 children.

"Ecuador was the first South American country to withdraw its ambassador from Israel and we must continue denouncing this genocide," Correa said. "We have obviously canceled our trip after these events."

Two days early, Ecuador announced it would open an embassy in Palestine, for which a diplomatic delegation is already in Ramallah.

Meanwhile, Uruguay has announced it will join Ecuador, as well as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, in opening an embassy in Palestine, teleSUR English said on August 8.

Uruguayan ambassador Enrique Ribeiro will travel to Ramallah in the West bank to open the new embassy.

In a letter, the Palestinian Authority expressed appreciation for the continued support of Uruguay in "the just and legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to recover their inalienable rights."

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said that to "bombard hospitals, young and old, is genocide".

For its part, Venezuela is sending 16 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, following a donation drive by the country's foreign affairs ministry, teleSUR English said on August 7.

The government is pitching in 10 tonnes of supplies. The rest comes from donations from the Venezuelan public, collected by the ministry during a public appeal for Gazans in need.

In an August 6 press conference in Cairo, Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua said: “To date, [the appeal for donations] has collected six tons of medical/surgical supplies, nonperishable food and blankets, which will be sent in the coming days to the Palestinian people.”

The donations will be delivered to the besieged Gaza strip with the aid of Egyptian authorities, Jaua stated.

The foreign minister said the Venezuelan government has also pledged to send 242,000 barrels of oil to Gaza annually to aid in reconstruction efforts. He said the fuel will be used to rebuild schools, hospitals, public utilities and private homes destroyed during Israel's latest offensive against Gaza.

Jaua demanded a “free and independent” Palestinian state, and condemned Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

[Compiled from articles published at teleSUR English.]

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