Published 6 August 2014 Telesur TV
Venezuela builds solidarity with Gaza
The Palestinian Foreign Minister will visit Venezuela August 11 to discuss Venezuela's vital support to his people.
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Caracas has been transformed into a hub of activity over the past few days, as Venezuelans respond en masse to the government’s call to provide donations for the people of the besieged Gaza strip in Palestine.
“We have more than a plane’s worth of donations to send, more than two tons of food, clothes and medicine,” explained Danielis Escalona Arellano, Coordinator of Culture and Solidarity for Venezuelan Dispatch to Asia, the Middle East and Oceania, who has been directing the effort. 
“There is a lot of love for the people of Palestine, we are all brothers and all united for the Palestinian cause,” she added. 
Marvin Mijares, Venezuelan Cultural Dipatch to Asia, said, “Israel does not respect human rights. Venezuela is responding, we are a humanist country, we are supporting them with all our might.”
Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al Maliki is scheduled to arrive in Venezuela on August 11, when he will collect the humanitarian dispatch before returning to Palestine.
 His visit is considered to be particularly important, given that Venezuela is due to begin sending 240 million liters of oil to Palestine every four months. The first batch is expected to be sent over the next few weeks.
Although the oil was originally intended to be sent to the West Bank, Palestinian authorities have confirmed that it will now be sent to Gaza, where it will be used to restart electricity generation in the area. 
“The only plant in the zone was bombed by the Israeli army and now it is in total darkness,” said Palestinian Ambassador to Venezuela, Linda Sabeh Ali. Many of those bringing donations to the center felt that Palestine was suffering a massacre at the hands of Israel, and that international organizations such as the U.N. were failing to protect them.
“It’s a genocide that the world doesn’t see,” said Oscar Escorche, a student at the Central University of Venezuela.Escorche was not the only person who felt frustration due to the lack of international action against Israel.
“There is so much injustice, and the world is asleep, the United Nations sits there with its arms folded,” commented Maribel Brazon, who brought medical supplies. Donations began to increase heavily over the weekend as more and more people found out about the drive.
Thousands also marched through Caracas on Saturday for the second time this month, demanding an end to Israel’s siege of Gaza and the recognition of the Palestinian State. “I was listening to Venezuela’s National Radio stations (RNV) and I heard that you could come here if you wanted to bring something in solidarity with the Palestinian people… we’re all human beings, I´m going to bring the rest of my friends from the Grandparents Club in my neighborhood,” said Maria Pelaez.
 A large part of the donations include baby food and milk, as well as other items for children, who have been the principle victims of the Israeli attacks. The Venezuelan Ministry of Tourism also contributed a truckload of diapers.Last Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the Minister of Foreign Relations Elias Jaua called on the people to make donate clothes, medicine and non-perishable food for the Palestinians, whom after almost 30 days of Israeli attacks are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
All the donations will be transported to Palestine via plane as part of a special mission by the country’s Foreign Relations Ministry. The aid will be sent amidst one of the strongest Israeli offences against the occupied Gaza Strip. The death toll now exceeds 1,880, most of them innocent civilians, including over 430 children. More than 9,300 have been injured. A fourth of the population has been displaced and 10,000 homes have been destroyed.
“They say that there is a war between Israel and Palestine, there is no war, Israel, recognized by the U.N. is an occupying power that has been displacing Palestinians from their historic territory, carrying out a war of extermination,” Maduro said, before confirming that his government will give asylum and shelter to children left orphaned by the onslaught.