Venezuela, Colombia back Brazil’s president in diplomatic spat with Israel

Venezuela, Colombia back Brazil’s president in diplomatic spat with Israel
Fecha de publicación: 
21 February 2024
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Venezuela and Colombia expressed support for Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose criticism of Israel's war on Gaza has triggered a diplomatic crisis. 

During a television program Monday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro highlighted that Hitler was “a monster created by Western elites” and regretted that “today, the criminal military apparatus of Israel has the same encouragement, funding and support.”

“As President Lula said at the African Union meeting, what the Israeli government is doing is the same thing that Hitler did against the Jewish people,” Maduro said.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro also expressed his support for his Brazilian counterpart.

“I express my complete solidarity with President Lula of Brazil. In Gaza, there is a genocide, and thousands of children, women and elderly civilians are (being) cowardly murdered. Lula has only spoken the truth, and the truth (must be) defended, or barbarism will annihilate us,” Petro said Tuesday on X.

Lula on Sunday compared the war on Gaza with Adolf Hitler’s campaign to exterminate Jews.

“What’s happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people hasn’t happened at any other moment in history. Actually, it has happened: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews,” he told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he was attending an African Union summit.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Lula “persona non grata” until he takes back the remarks.

Lula on Monday recalled Brazil’s ambassador to Israel, Frederico Meyer, and the country's Foreign Ministry said it would summon Israel's ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Zonshine, for a meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

Petro and Maduro have urged Israel to end its war on Gaza.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by Palestinian group Hamas in October, in which nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

The death toll from Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip has jumped to 29,195, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Another 69,170 people have been injured so far.

About 85% of Gazans have been displaced by the Israeli onslaught, while all of them are food insecure, according to the UN. Hundreds of thousands of people are living without shelter, and ⁠less than half of aid trucks are entering the territory than before the start of the conflict.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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