“Honduras, Chile and Colombia recalled their respective ambassadors from Israel in protest at the Israeli government’s actions against civilians in Gaza.”
By Logan Williams, Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America
Following the current siege of the people of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces, many governments across the global south and most notably from Latin America have led the international efforts to offer solidarity to the people of Palestine and bring about an end to the violence being perpetrated by the Israeli government.
In Latin America, the efforts by progressive parties and movements have led to multiple Latin American nations to recall their respective ambassadors from Israel and, to play a key role in the United Nations General Assembly’s debate on the contemporary conflict between Israel and Palestine.
These efforts have been spearheaded by the Lula-led PT government of Brazil; which currently holds the Chair of the Security Council of the United Nations, and has worked to apply international diplomatic pressure to bring about an end to the conflict in the Middle East. Lula’s efforts began on October 7th when he released a statement via Twitter which stated that “Brazil will spare no efforts to prevent the escalation of the conflict, including when exercising the Presidency of the UN Security Council”. Within this statement, Lula would go on to “call on the international community to work to immediately resume negotiations that lead to a solution to the conflict that guarantees the existence of an economically viable Palestinian State, coexisting peacefully with Israel within safe borders for both sides”.
Lula’s efforts would continue through Brazil’s role on the Security Council which would see Lula propose a draft motion which called for an immediate and unconditional release of all civilian hostages, urged an end to all measures that result in depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival and, called for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow full, rapid, safe and unhindered access for United Nations humanitarian agencies to provide aid to civilians across the region.
On October 18, the Security Council vetoed the Brazil-led resolution through the key vote of the United States against the motion, whilst the United Kingdom and Russia abstained. The decision by the Security Council to veto this attempt to create a humanitarian ceasefire was berated at the UN General Assembly by the Cuban representatives who argued that the effect of the US’s vote would place obstacles in “finding the path to peace”.
Despite the attempted resolution falling within the Security Council, it is logical to suggest that Brazil’s actions show a clear continuation of Lula’s efforts throughout the Ukraine war to seek out and organise for a peaceful settlement to both conflicts to avoid their rapid escalation.
Following on from Lula’s efforts to create a diplomatic road to peace countries across Latin America sought to utilise their diplomatic power to place political pressure on the Israeli government to end the conflict. These efforts would see the left or centre-left governments of Honduras, Chile and Colombia recall their respective ambassadors from Israel in protest at the Israeli government’s actions against civilians in Gaza.
We would also see Venezuela seek to provide aid to Palestinian civilians across Gaza, which has resulted in the successful delivery of 30 tons of aid to the people of Gaza despite the failure of the UN to demand at least a humanitarian pause within the conflict. These actions were furthered by the Arce-led government of Bolivia which has formally ended their diplomatic relations with Israel whilst demanding “an end to the attacks in the Gaza strip which has so far caused thousands of civilian deaths and the forced displacement of Palestinians”. The Bolivian government has also declared its intention to send humanitarian aid to help tackle the medical crisis faced by hospitals across Palestine.
However, it is not just in the actions of the progressive Latin American governments that we can see solidarity with the people of Palestine. We can see it through the actions of their socialist and social movements which have organised thousand-strong marches across the region with marches taking place in La Paz, Bolivia, a vigil in Managua’s Parque Palestina in Nicaragua, and mammoth marches through Caracas to support the PSUV-led government’s stances on the conflict.
These actions show how vital it is that every socialist or progressive activist in the global north must not only step up solidarity with Palestine but also prioritise continued solidarity with the Left in Latin America – which is a reference point for anti-capitalists across the globe – to ensure that their unflinching internationalist policies are not silenced in favour of the neo-liberal agenda and the bad old days of US domination.
- Logan Williams is an NEU activist and an organiser for Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America (LFPLA). You can follow Logan on twitter here; and follow LFPLA on Facebook and Twitter.
- You can add your name to the petition calling on Labour’s leadership to back an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine here.
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