NEWS DESK | While the world is choosing sides between Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and 35-year-old opposition leader Juan Guaido, Venezuela’s Jews are stuck in the middle. Our Damian Pachter has the story.

Story:
Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed and internationally embraced Interim President of Venezuela, affirmed to the Israeli daily ‘Israel Hayom’ his intention to re-establish diplomatic ties with the State of Israel, also adding he is considering moving the Venezuelan embassy to Jerusalem. 

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were suspended back in 2009 following an Israeli operation against the Hamas militant group in Gaza. 

Then-President Hugo Chavez expelled the Israeli delegation, including its ambassador arguing Israel was acting in flagrant violations of international law. 

Shortly after, Chavez announced the strengthening of an opposite alliance – tightening bonds with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

Now, as the world is choosing sides between the 35-year-old President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, and the formal President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, a small group of people is stuck in the middle — the Venezuelan Jews.

Once a vibrant Jewish community of tens-of-thousands has dwindled to just few thousands today. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the world leaders who recognized Guaido as the legitimate Venezuelan President.  

‘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 stated.

Coming out publicly against Maduro’s socialist government can be dangerous and yet a group of local Jewish leaders provided this statement:

‘We understand that the State of Israel is autonomous and its foreign policy is based on its geostrategic interests. With regards to the statements by Mr. Juan Guaido, I believe that the restoration of ties between Venezuela and Israel has been a desire of the Jewish community of Venezuela since a decade ago, and if it is in Jerusalem, being the sole and indivisible capital of the State of Israel, then even better.’

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