The US is facing increasing diplomatic pressure from several Latin American countries over its support for Israel in the ongoing war with Hamas. Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, and Venezuela have all taken measures to distance themselves from Israel, accusing it of committing war crimes and human rights violations in Gaza.
Bolivia’s left-wing government, led by President Luis Arce, announced on Tuesday that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Israel, calling its military offensive in Gaza a “genocide”. Bolivia’s former president Evo Morales, who is running for office again, also demanded that Israel be classified as a “terrorist state” and that its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, be tried at the International Criminal Court.
Colombia’s left-wing president, Gustavo Petro, recalled his ambassador from Israel on the same day, denouncing the “massacre of the Palestinian people”. Petro had previously compared Israel’s actions to those of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis, sparking a strong reaction from Israel’s foreign ministry, which accused him of endangering Jewish lives and encouraging “the horrific acts of Hamas terrorists” with his “hostile and antisemitic statements”.
Chile’s president, Gabriel Boric, also recalled his country’s ambassador in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, citing the “unacceptable violations of international humanitarian law” he said Israel was committing in Gaza. Chile has the largest Palestinian diaspora outside the Arab world, and has seen massive protests in solidarity with the Palestinians in recent days.
Venezuela, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel since 2009, also condemned Israel’s “criminal aggression” and expressed its “unconditional support” for the Palestinian cause. Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro, said that his country was ready to receive Palestinian refugees and offer them humanitarian assistance.
The US, which is Israel’s main ally and arms supplier, has been largely isolated in its defense of Israel at the United Nations and other international forums. The US has repeatedly blocked the UN Security Council from issuing a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire and expressing concern over the civilian casualties in Gaza.
The US has also faced criticism from some of its European allies, such as France, Germany, and the UK, which have urged Israel to exercise restraint and respect the proportionality principle in its response to Hamas’ rocket attacks. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Tuesday that the bloc was “appalled” by the loss of life in Gaza and called for an end to the “unacceptable violence”.