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“If unstopped, Venezuela – the spoiler – could turn UNESCO into a fragile House of Cards.”

Paris, 23 May 2018

In its role as Chair of the 120 member-states of the “Non-Aligned Movement” (NAM), Venezuela today sent out a formal communique (N° 274-2018) on “Violations and Provocations Regarding the Status of Jerusalem.”

The NAM Secretary-General, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, reaffirmed “its abiding solidarity with the Palestinian people...,” calling on “those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City.”

The Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, responded that “this would mean the removal of the ten other current diplomatic missions or Consulates in the city: Belgium, France, Greece, Holy See, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.”

The Venezuelan document also “reaffirms the urgency of immediate efforts to address... this juncture of their plight... the passage of 70 years since the tragic Nakba of the Palestinian people...” (see attachments).

Samuels retorted, “the Jews had accepted the United Nations Partition Plan in 1947... Had the Arab side not rejected it by declaring war, the two states would both be celebrating 70 years of independence... At least, Venezuela would not today be exploiting a Middle East figleaf to whitewash its domestic human rights abuse.”

The Centre noted that “Venezuela is a failed state, whose tyrant President has just been prolonged in a spurious election, whose people are doomed to sickness and and starvation, or flight to neighbouring countries, a junta reviled and isolated by most member-states of the OAS (Organisation of American States).”

“It is an outrage that Venezuela – a role model for all violators of human rights and a seed-bed for Iranian supported terrorism across Latin America – dares to undermine UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who has championed a depoliticization policy,” argued Samuels.

“It was bad enough for Venezuela to have been elected to the UNESCO Executive Board. Its role as spoiler transcends the Americas to further inflame the Middle East. If unstopped, UNESCO will, once again become a fragile House of Cards,” he concluded.