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Colombia's Former Marxist Guerilla President Breaks Diplomatic Relations with Israel

Colombian President Gustavo Petro's decision to break diplomatic relations with Israel underscores a significant shift in Colombia's foreign policy stance towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Petro's announcement, made amidst criticism of Israeli actions in Gaza, reflects his administration's commitment to opposing Western values and respect for civil liberties and free markets. This move aligns Colombia with other Latin American countries that have taken similar diplomatic actions against Israel, such as from the left-wing leaders of Bolivia, Belize, and Chile. Despite the historical cooperation between Colombia and Israel, Petro's decision raises questions about the future of bilateral trade and cooperation.

Colombian President Gustavo Petro's recent announcement to sever diplomatic relations with Israel over its Gaza policies. This is the latest move by the former Marxist Guerrilla to oppose Western values that respect civil liberties and free markets. From before Petro's presidency to the present day, the ties between Colombia and Israel have been influenced by historical events, geopolitical dynamics, and diplomatic maneuvers. But they have always been cordial and cooperative since ties were formally established over seven decades ago.

Pre-Petro Era Israeli Diplomacy

Colombia and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1950, shortly after Israel was established. The relationship was initially characterized by mutual cooperation in areas such as agriculture, technology, and defense. Over the decades, trade between the two countries flourished, with Israel becoming an important supplier of military equipment to Colombia.

Colombia's support for the Palestinian cause, rooted in its historical ties with Arab nations, occasionally strained its relations with Israel. Despite occasional tensions, diplomatic ties remained intact, and both countries maintained embassies in each other's capitals.


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Petro's Presidency Flips The Script

Gustavo Petro's presidency marked a significant shift in Colombia's foreign policy, particularly regarding its stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Petro, a former guerrilla and far-left socialist politician, has long been an outspoken critic of Israeli policies in Gaza.

Petro's decision to break diplomatic relations with Israel follows his condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his support for South Africa's case accusing Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice.

With Colombia's announcement, it joins a growing number of Latin American countries that have taken similar diplomatic actions against Israel. Bolivia severed ties with Israel in October of the previous year. Additionally, countries like Chile and Honduras have recalled their ambassadors in protest against Israeli actions.

Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Israel Katz, have condemned Petro's decision, accusing him of antisemitism and bias against Israel. They argue that severing diplomatic ties rewards Hamas, the militant group responsible for attacks on Israeli military bases and communities.

The future of the relationship between Colombia and Israel remains uncertain. Questions will be raised about the potential impact on bilateral trade and cooperation in areas such as technology and defense.




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