Bolivia severs ties with Israel
Nov. 1, 2023
Bolivia severed diplomatic ties with Israel yesterday over its strikes in Gaza. Chile and Colombia said that they were recalling their ambassadors to Israel for “consultations.”
The war in Gaza is creating resentment in parts of the Global South, fomenting “accusations that the West is applying a double standard in its approach to the wars in Ukraine and Gaza,” reports the New York Times.
Other countries in the region, including Mexico, have called for a ceasefire, led by Brazil which holds the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council.
Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, last week criticized what he called “the insanity of the prime minister of Israel [in] wanting to destroy the Gaza Strip but forgetting that there aren’t just Hamas soldiers there but also women and children who are the big victims of this war.” (Guardian)
Bolivia had restored ties with Israel in 2020, after a decade-long rupture, also in response to Israeli incursions into Gaza.
Chile accused Israel of refusing to respect international laws and said its airstrikes were a “collective punishment of the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza.” Earlier in the day, Chile's foreign ministry said in a separate statement that it is pushing for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian territories., reports Reuters.
Neither Chile nor Bolivia mentioned the Hamas attacks on Israel on Oct. 7, in which more than 1,400 people were killed, notes the Associated Press.
(See also Washington Post.)
More Regional Relations
Chile is home to the largest Palestinian diaspora outside of the Middle East. Some Indigenous communities have demonstrated in defense of Palestinians and some activists draw a “line between the Mapuche struggle to reclaim their lands from extractive industry, and the Palestinian struggle to re-establish a permanent homeland,” reports Nacla.
Kenneth Mohamed criticizes Jamaica’s decision to abstain from last week’s UN General Assembly vote on Gaza, referencing the country’s diplomatic efforts against apartheid in South Africa. (Guardian)
The U.S. is evaluating Venezuela’s Maduro government’s efforts to keep opposition primary winner María Corina Machado from competing in next year’s presidential election, said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday. The move could prompt Washington to reinstate the recently lifted sanctions against Caracas, reports the Miami Herald. (See yesterday’s post.)
The U.S. State Department announced it is pulling the U.S. visas of “a dozen individuals, and their immediate family members” in Guatemala over ongoing attempts to interfere with President-elect Bernardo Arévalo’s ascent to power, reports The Hill.
A majority of Haitians say gang warfare in the country had negative consequences on their lives and they favor the deployment of an international armed force, according to a new poll commissioned by the Haiti Health Network. (Miami Herald)
The World Food Program reported that increasing violence by armed groups since mid-August has forced about 40,000 people in the capital of Port-au-Prince to flee their homes. There are now about 200,000 displaced people across Haiti, the United Nations food agency said. (Miami Herald)
A majority Brazil’s electoral court judges voted to declare former president Jair Bolsonaro ineligible to seek or hold public office for a second time on Tuesday. (Bloomberg)
Mexico's government unveiled a $3.4 billion recovery plan for Acapulco after a severe battering by Hurricane Otis last week, including tax breaks, humanitarian aid and reconstruction of infrastructure, reports Reuters. (See Monday’s post.)
At least two people died El Salvador after Tropical Storm Pilar’s heavy rainfall provoked flooding. (New York Times)
Argentina paid the International Monetary Fund $2.6 billion due yesterday, complying with major maturities before the presidential runoff election, reports Bloomberg.
Polls ahead of Argentina’s Nov. 19 runoff election vary widely — Road to the Casa Rosada
Argentina’s runoff election remains mathematically wide open. “The demand for change favors Milei. The winnability, that intangible specialists use to explain why voters hop on the winning car, favors Massa,” writes Iván Schargrodsky in Cenital.
Also in Cenital, Bernabé Malacalza and Juan Tokatlian call for Argentina to “adopt a sensible and fruitful international insertion strategy. In short, on the international front we need issue-focused diplomacy of modesty.”
Drought has complicated ship-transit in the Panama Canal, creating headaches for shipping companies and raising difficult questions about water use in Panama, reports the New York Times.
Dia de los Muertos
“La Monja de la Feria,” a scary nun character, has delighted and unsettled millions with popular videos that showcase her dance moves atop a fair ride. The New York Times delves into the scene’s popularity.