(July 30) – Bolivia has declared Israel a “terrorist state” and revoked a visa exemption agreement with Tel Aviv in protest at the ongoing Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The move “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state,” President Evo Morales said during talks with a group of educators in the Andean city of Cochabamba on Wednesday.
Morales added that the Israeli aggression shows “that Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community.”
The announcement came after a cabinet meeting, which decided that “The Bolivian state and people have made a firm decision to terminate the agreement on visas to Israel, from August 17, 1972, signed under a regime of dictatorship in Bolivia and that allowed Israeli citizens to enter Bolivia freely without even entry visa.”
Earlier this month, Evo Morales, the first person of Indigenous origin to become head of a state in the Americas in 500 years and who has served as president since 2006, called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity.”
President Morales joined with the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in condemnation of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.
During a visit to Brazil, the Andean leader said it was high time something was done “to end the genocide that Israel is carrying out on Palestine.”
“There is no UN High Commission on Human Rights, there is no Human Rights Council. When an empire attacks a country with a view to dominating it, unfortunately there is no one who can defend the people,” said Morales in a statement.
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009 over a previous military operation in Gaza.
Condemnation of Israeli war sweeps Latin America
On Wednesday July 30, El Salvador, Peru and Chile also announced they would recall their ambassadors for consultations, a diplomatic face-slap that could be interpreted as being one step away from breaking diplomatic ties. The stand of the three countries follow similar announcements by Ecuador and Brazil.
As Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela convened in Caracas for trade talks at the Mercosur summit, four of the Mercosur official members condemned Israeli aggression.
Paraguay, which has recently strengthened its relations with Israel, notably, was not party to the joint statement.
The stand comes at a time when the United States has tried to insinuate Israel into its Organization of American States (OAS), where the Middle Eastern state has been given observer status, as well as activate the Zionist network against the movement for genuine sovereignty and development represented by ALBA and to destabilize their governments.
The stand by Bolivia came as a fresh Israeli airstrike on a busy market near Gaza City killed at least 17 people and injured dozens of others earlier in the day. More than 1,300 Palestinians have been killed and thousands of others injured by the Israeli regime’s offensive against the coastal sliver since July 8. The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, has been launching retaliatory attacks against Israel.
With a file from Press TV
Related reading on this website
Statements against the war crimes, July 20, 2014
Fidel Castro: An unheard of provocation, July 18, 2014
South American ALBA condemns ongoing Israeli assault, July 15, 2014
Cuba condemns Israeli attack against Gaza Strip, July 12, 2014