nicaragua says freedom for palestine

Nicaragua’s UN Ambassador said at a meeting of the Security Council last month (speaking of Libya) that the UN Charter does not include any reference to the right of humanitarian interference, but considers the respect of sovereignty to be paramount. She wondered how civilians will be protected by bombing them. She also asked where is the determination of the Security Council when it comes to protecting the heroic, victimised Palestinian population.

Palestine is a useful way to look at how Latin America foreign policy is developing much more independently. The hegemony that the US exercised over it’s back yard is almost broken, and nothing illustrates this better than Palestine, and the new continental body, UNASUR. UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations, has been meeting since 2004, and passed a constitutional treaty in 2008, which came into force this March. It is now a legal body, whose economic, political and foreign policy powers will grow.

The wave of countries in Latin America recognising Palestine stemmed directly from talks last year between UNASUR and the League of Arab States.

Since the New Year Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and Suriname have recognised Palestine, within the 1967 greenline armistice borders. They joined Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, who previously recognised Palestine. Chile and Peru, with more right wing governments, have also recognised Palestine, but without referring to borders.

What has been the response of the United States? We have a kind of unofficial response, in the form of Condoleeza Rice, musing on the relationship between Palestine and Latin America in 2008. In papers which were revealed this January, she suggested that instead of Palestine refugees returning to Israel, they should be re-settled in Chile and Argentina.

And the official US response after the wave of Latin American recognition for Palestine? They have called it ‘counter-productive’. Counter productive for whom?

(taken from Campaign talk to Bangor and Mon Peace Group, May 2011)

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