Five LA nations withdraw ambassadors from Israel, Venezuela offers Gaza aid, refuge

Saturday, August 2, 2014

El Salvador joined four other Latin American countries in recalling its ambassador from Tel Aviv in protest against Israel’s bloody attack on the Gaza Strip, International Business Times said on July 30.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have all recalled their diplomatic representatives to Israel.

The Chilean foreign ministry expressed “great concern and dismay” at “a collective punishment against the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, does not respect fundamental rules of international humanitarian law”.

The Brazilian government recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv on July 23, the Wall Street Journal said the next day. Brazil's foreign ministry said: “We strongly condemn the disproportionate use of force by Israel in the Gaza Strip, from which large numbers of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulted.”

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino said of his nation’s July 18 decision to withdraw its ambassador: “We condemn the Israeli military incursion into Palestinian territory, we require cessation of operations and indiscriminate attacks against civilians.”

Meanwhile, Venezuela said it was launching an initiative to send relief aid to Gaza as a “testament of solidarity”, Venezuela Analysis reported on July 31. The article said it was unclear how the aid will reach Gaza, given Israel maintains a strict blockade and have blocked shipments of humanitarian aid in the past.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro also said Venezuela would build a shelter for Palestinian child survivors of the war.

For it's part, Bolivia has declared Israel “a terrorist state”, AFP reported on July 30.

Bolivia ended a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza. President Evo Morales said this “means, in other words, we are declaring [Israel] a terrorist state”.

In mid-July, Morales filed a request with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity”.

Like Venezuela, Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 over its crimes against Palestinians. On July 19, the Venezuelan government said Israel had “initiated a higher phase of its policy of genocide and extermination with the ground invasion of Palestinian territory, killing innocent men, women, girls and boys”.

Like Green Left Weekly on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

From GLW issue 1019