Thursday, January 08, 2009

Israeli Ambassador Booted by Hugo Chavez

Free Image hosting by ImageSnap(Caracas, Venezuela) Right on the heels of declaring the situation in Gaza a "holocaust," President Hugo Chavez booted Israel's ambassador out of Venezuela as a protest to the Gaza offensive.
Israel's ambassador to Venezuela, Shlomo Cohen, and his staff were given 72 hours to leave the country. [...]

On Tuesday night, Ambassador Cohen received a telephone call from the Foreign Ministry informing him that an official letter was on its way, declaring him and the other six members of the diplomatic mission in Caracas persona non grata and requiring them to depart the country within three days.

Following this development, a special crew flew to Venezuela to assist in evacuating the embassy and its classified documents and equipment.
There was, however, no mention of severing diplomatic ties with Israel.

Nevertheless, given the close relationship between Chavez and Iran's Ahmadinejad, the Venezuelan Jewish community is understandably apprehensive. Under Chavez, there has been no officially sanctioned anti-Jewish activity in Venezuela but Chavez is known to be vehemently anti-semitic in his rhetoric.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Foreign Ministry is contemplating kicking Venezuela's diplomats out of Israel in response to Chavez's action. Venezuela has an office staffed with two diplomats but no ambassador.

Frankly, I wouldn't recommend playing Chavez's game. He's just a thug.

Companion post at The Jawa Report.

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