Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has launched an “SOS Palestine” campaign to demand an end to Israel’s ongoing bombardment of Palestine’s Gaza strip.
“Enough already, I’ve joined the campaign. #SOS Palestina, let’s launch it,” he told supporters during a televised broadcast.
Holding up a handwritten placard, he asked fellow citizens to join the campaign, stating, “The Palestinian people have the right to live in their ancestral lands in peace…our international position over the issue of Palestine is just and follows the policy of comandante Hugo Chavez”.
Maduro also questioned the sincerity of international figures, including several well known artists and actors in the United States, who joined the #SOS Venezuela campaign earlier this year when the South American country was hit by a wave of opposition protests and violent street barricades. 43 were killed and over 800 wounded, including government supports, opposition activists, members of security forces, and civilian bystanders.
“To those who went around the world saying “SOS Venezuela”…what do the hypocrites that launched SOS Venezuela have to say about Palestine? Let’s see if they [famous celebrities] dare! SOS Palestine!” the Venezuela president declared.
According to the official count, over 120 Palestinians have been killed and almost 1,000 injured since Israel began its bombardment of the Gaza strip five days ago. There have been no Israeli fatalities.
Solidarity activities with Palestine were held in the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Thursday and Friday. Maduro has referred to Israel’s assault as “unjust, disproportionate and illegal”, and has called for the bombardment to end.
Venezuela cut diplomatic ties with Israel in January 2009 in response to the U.S. ally’s assault of the Gaza strip that year, which killed over one thousand Palestinians. Venezuela has since built up an alliance with Palestine, including making “solidarity” health, education and oil deals with the Middle Eastern country.