Several Latin American countries are pressing Israeli leadership to end its recent military incursion into Gaza, complicating relations between Israel leadership and governments in Latin America.
The majority of Latin American governments have expressed their solidarity with Israel following the October 7 massacre perpetrated by Hamas forces in Israeli territory. Exceptions remain, nevertheless.
Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela (all of them sanctioned and classified as “rogue states” by Washington) refused to condemn Hamas and blamed the October 7 attacks on Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and other Palestinian-inhabited territories.
Initial support for Israel has been faltering among Latin American leadership following the recent incurssion of Israeli military forces into Gaza.
Brazilian President Lula da Silva characterized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy in Gaza as “madness”.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro described the extent of the military response as “genocide”, threatening to cut diplomatic ties with Israel if necessary. Petro’s words angered Israeli leadership, who publicly condemned the Colombian president’s words.
Mexico has been trying to remain neutral, but it’s messaging has been mixed and even contradictory at times. Its Foreign Relations Ministry stated that Israel had a right to legitimate defense following the October 7 attacks. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), on the other hand, told reporters that Mexico would not be taking sides, adding that “more than condemnations, a peaceful solution is required.”
At the UN General Assembly, 120 countries voted in favor of a resolution calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza. Most Latin American and Caribbean countries in the Assembly favoured the resolution. Only Guatemala and Paraguay voted against. Haiti, Panama and Uruguay abstained from voting.