TEL AVIV – Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim leader Juan Guaido thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for recognizing his government on Sunday.
In a tweet thanking the Israeli leader, Guaido made a comparison between his own political journey and the Holocaust.
“Seventy-four years ago, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated, and today, just as our country is also fighting for its freedom, we thank the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu for the recognition and the support,” Guaido wrote.
Hace 74 años se liberó el campo de concentración de #Auschwitz y hoy justamente cuando nuestro país lleva también una lucha por su la libertad, agradecemos el reconocimiento y apoyo al Primer Ministro de Israel Benjamín Netanyahu @netanyahu https://t.co/IPCEylODB9
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) January 27, 2019
On Sunday, Netanyahu released a video statement in English.
“Israel joins the United States, Canada, most of the countries of Latin America and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela,” Netanyahu said.
Last week, the Trump administration allegedly requested that Israel publicly endorse the U.S.’s efforts to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign and to back Guaido as the interim president.
Israel reportedly demurred, fearing that enraging Maduro could endanger members of the 6,000-strong Venezuelan Jewish community.
After Sunday’s recognition, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman lauded Jerusalem for “standing with the people of Venezuela and the forces of freedom and democracy.”
Trump’s special Mideast envoy, Jason Greenblatt, also praised Israel for its “courageous stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people.”
Israel takes a courageous stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people! https://t.co/9i8z9NOHA1
— Jason D. Greenblatt (@jdgreenblatt45) January 27, 2019
At the United Nations on Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to put a stop to Venezuela’s “nightmare” and start supporting Guaido.
“Now is the time for every other national to pick a side,” Pompeo told the Security Council. “No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you’re in league with Maduro and his mayhem.”
Pompeo named American diplomat Elliott Abrams as the Trump administration’s new special envoy to Venezuela. Pompeo described Abrams as a “seasoned, principled, and tough-minded foreign policy veteran.” He said Abrams will be responsible “for all things related to our efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela.”
Abrams, a veteran of the Bush and Reagan administrations, is known for his pro-Israel views and is close to Netanyahu.
Senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Ahmad Majdalani decried the Trump administration’s support of Guaido, saying it was “an extension of the Trump administration’s policy of denying the will of peoples.”