Venezuela, Cuba Lead Regional Leftists Against Trump Jerusalem Declaration

Cuban President Raul Castro (L) stands with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) during a massive rally on November 29, 2016 on Revolution Square in Havana in honor of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The leftist governments of Latin America — including Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, and Bolivia — have all issued statements condemning American President Donald Trump for officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Cuba and Venezuela maintain close ties to the government of Iran, which regularly threatens the complete destruction of Israel.

Cuba’s foreign ministry issued a statement on Wednesday, following Trump’s declaration, expressing “its most profound concern and rejection over the unilateral declaration on the part of the President of the United States regarding the city of Jerusalem.” The declaration, it insisted, “threatens the legitimate interests of the people of Palestine and the Arabic and Islamic nations” and “will provoke grave consequences for the stability and security of the Middle East.”

Havana’s communist government then demanded that the United Nations Security Council intervene to “demand an immediate end to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Granma, Cuba’s state propaganda newspaper, also published a story dismissing Trump as refusing to “listen to either the world or his own people.” The publication described the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as “a red line that not even the most right-wing governing groups of the United States had dared cross, including Ronald Reagan.”

Venezuela followed suit with a long statement from Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza “firmly condemning” the decision. Arreaza stated that dictator Nicolás Maduro also “expresses his most firm repudiation and condemnation before the arbitrary decision of the U.S. government.”

The statement goes on to call the declaration “a flagrant violation of international rights and calls on the application of the UN Charter” against President Trump’s decision and assert that Venezuela’s “Bolivarian people” are “historically committed to the just Palestinian cause.”

Venezuela’s socialist regime is currently celebrating “Loyalty and Love to Commander Hugo Chávez Day.” Among the most significant legacies of the Chávez era was his push to alienate Venezuela from its traditional Western allies, forming a bond with rogue regimes around the world. Chávez enjoyed warm relations with then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who attended his funeral in 2013.

The Turkish state news agency Anadolu compiled other reactions from Latin America’s left, including the leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti proclaimed that the decision “undermines any attempts to reach a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and makes the already volatile region even more unstable.” Echoing that point, President Evo Morales tweeted that he felt “profound indignation” at the situation. “We send a message of solidarity to the Palestinian people and reaffirm our support to the two-state solution,” he added.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry, under the presidency of leftist Lenin Moreno, issued a statement declaring the decision was “against international rights.”

“Ecuador warns of the negative effects that the decision of that country may have on the recovery of peace talks between Israel and Palestine,” the statement concluded.

Trump asserted on Wednesday that the United States would recognize the capital of its close ally Israel. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering,” he asserted. Trump announced that he would require the U.S. State Department to move its embassy out of Tel Aviv and into the capital, Jerusalem, in due time.

“This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done,” he concluded.

Palestinian leaders, heads of state of Muslim nations, and jihadist groups like Hamas and al-Qaeda have reacted with fury to the declaration. Hamas has called for “day of rage” protests across the Middle East, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Trump’s position would create a “ring of fire” in the region.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address he was “forever grateful” to Trump for his announcement.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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