Nuevo Culture

Colombia President Cuts Ties with Israel Over Its Actions in Gaza

Colombia will break diplomatic ties with Israel over its actions in Gaza, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced during a rally in Bogotá’s Bolívar Square on Wednesday (May 1). The government of Colombia has been very critical of Israel since last October, but it has stopped short of breaking diplomatic relations with the country until now. The move is effective starting May 2nd, 2024.

“Tomorrow, diplomatic relations with the State of Israel will be broken … for having a genocidal president,” Petro said during an International Workers’ Day march in Colombia’s capital of Bogotá. “It cannot be the times of genocide, of the extermination of an entire people can’t return before our eyes, before our passivity. If Palestine dies, humanity dies, and we are not going to let it die.”

The response from Israel was swift, with its Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, saying on X, formerly Twitter, that “The president of Colombia promised to reward Hamas murderers and rapists – and today he kept his promise,” referencing Petro’s decision to break off diplomatic relations. 

Katz also added that “relations between Israel and Colombia have always been warm – and no hate-filled, anti-Semitic president can change that. The State of Israel will continue to protect its citizens fearlessly.”

Colombia is not the first Latin American country to break diplomatic relations with Israel over its retaliation after Hamas’s attacks on October 7th. Israel’s response has killed more than 34,000 people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Bolivia also cut diplomatic ties with Israel last year over what it called “crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people.”

Last year, South Africa accused Israel of violating international laws on genocide. In January of this year, the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to take all measures to prevent genocide but stopped short of demanding an immediate cease-fire.