(FILE) Colombian senator and former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro speaks on radio station La W today, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Bogota, Colombia. EFE/ Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda

Petro threatens to suspend relations with Israel after cessation of security exports

Bogota, Oct 15 (EFE) – Colombian President Gustavo Petro threatened Sunday to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel in response to that country’s decision to halt exports of security equipment to Colombia because of its stance on the new war in the region.

“If we have to suspend foreign relations with Israel, we will suspend them. We do not support genocides. The president of Colombia is not insulted”, said Petro on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

The president called “Latin America to a real solidarity with Colombia. If it is not capable, it will be the development of history that will say the last word as in the great Chaco war”, he said in an apparent reference to the conflict between Paraguay and Bolivia, fought between 1932 and 1935, but without explaining the relationship with the current situation.

The Government of Israel announced today that it suspended exports of security equipment to Colombia in response to “hostile and anti-Semitic statements” by Petro, who on social networks daily expresses his support for the Palestinian cause with criticism of Israel and without explicitly condemning Hamas terrorism.

“Israel condemns the president’s statements that reflect support for the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists, fuel anti-Semitism, affect the representatives of the State of Israel )and threaten the peace of the Jewish community in Colombia,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lior Haiat, said on the X network.

The decision to suspend security exports to Colombia was taken after the Israeli Foreign Ministry called the Colombian ambassador to that country, Margarita Manjarrez, to express its displeasure with Petro’s words.

Paramilitaries and mercenaries “Neither the Yair Klein nor the Raifal Eithan can say the history of peace in Colombia. They unleashed the massacre and genocide in Colombia,” Petro added. The former was an Israeli mercenary who trained Colombian paramilitaries in the 1980s.

The president, who compared the Gaza Strip situation to the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II, again referred to the Nazis by stating, “Hitler will be defeated for the good of humanity, its democracy, peace and freedom of the world.”

“Someday, the army and government of Israel will apologize to us for what their men did in our land, unleashing genocide. I will embrace with them, and they u lloraté (sic) for the murder of Auschwitz and Gaza, and the Colombian Auschwitz,” he added.

In his message, Petro demanded from the people of Israel “help in the peace of Colombia and help in the peace of Palestine and the world.” EFE