Venezuela, Cuba condemn Israel, offer Gaza support

January 8, 2009

While Western powers and many Arab governments are complicit in Israel's crimes against the people of Gaza, the revolutionary governments of Venezuela and Cuba have strongly opposed Israel's war.

Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez released a statement on December 27 "on behalf of the Bolivarian government, and as spokesperson of the Venezuelan people", in which Chavez expressed "his deep indignation at the criminal attack by Israel perpetrated against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip".

On January 5, Chavez urged Israel "to stop the invasion of the Gaza Strip and the murder of thousands of innocent people".

Commenting on US backing for Israel, he stated: "It is sad that Israel continues acting as the killing arm of the yankee empire.

"The yankee empire has no mercy and the evidence is what they are supporting in Gaza, where a real slaughter [is] taking place; this is all supported by the current government of the United States."

The following day, Venezuela announced it had "decided to expel the Israeli ambassador and part of the personnel of the Israeli embassy" in protest at its crimes, according to a January 6 Associated Press report.

As it did during the humanitarian crisis Israel inflicted on Lebanon in 2006, Venezuela is rushing humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolas Maduro announced on January 6 that "the Venezuelan government has decided to start a humanitarian airlift, together with the Arab and Muslim community and other Latin American countries, to supply medicines, food, drinking water, and milk, among other items".

Prensa Latina reported on December 28 that the Cuban government "has strongly condemned Israel's massive airstrikes on the Gaza Strip" that have killed hundreds.

The Cuban government issued a statement declaring Israel's military assault "criminal", a "genocidal act" and "the bloodiest attack Israel has ever launched against the Palestinian people".

According to the statement, "Cuba reiterates its unswerving solidarity and support for the heroic and long-suffering Palestinian people".

Cuba has urged "the international community to condemn the massacre and to request an immediate end [to] the attacks against the Palestinian civil population".

The Bolivian government of left-wing President Evo Morales has also condemned Israel's crimes and urged the United Nations to demand Israel stop its assault.

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