Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia condemn Israeli attack on Gaza

The expulsion by the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments of their respective Israeli ambassadors over the attack on Gaza was a vital act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The Cuban government issued a statement of condemnation within hours of the Israeli attack starting, describing it as ‘criminal’. The statement pointed out that the attack ‘is occurring in the midst of the illegal blockade imposed for the last 18 months by the Israeli government on the Gaza Strip and directed at annihilating the Palestinian population, including children, women and the elderly, and forcing them to surrender out of hunger and sickness.’ The statement urged ‘the international community to condemn the massacre and to request an immediate end for the attacks against the Palestinian civil population. Cuba reiterates its unswerving solidarity and support for the heroic and long-suffering Palestinian people.’

The Venezuelan government expelled the Israeli ambassador on 6 January 2009, and then, with Bolivia, broke diplomatic relations with Israel on 14 January. ‘If the world had any conscience, the president of Israel should be taken before an international court, together with the president of the United States’, President Chavez said. Meanwhile Evo Morales attacked the United Nations ‘Insecurity Council’ for its ‘lukewarm’ response and said he would ‘bring genocide charges against top Israeli officials’ in the International Criminal Court. The Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan governments condemned Israel as ‘criminal’ and expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Chavez’s stand has made him a hero in Palestine and much of the Middle East as people have contrasted his principled stand with those of the Arab govern ments. The stance of the three governments is important since, not only does it demonstrate their support for the Palestinian people, it also establishes a socialist, anti-imperialist pole in international relations.

FRFI 207 February / March 2009


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