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Latam Brief: Lula compares Israel’s actions to Hitler’s

Brazilian President Lula compares Gaza operation to ‘Holocaust’; outraged Israel says ‘red line’ crossed

Latin America Daily Briefing

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, yesterday. He compared Israel’s actions in Gaza to Adolf Hitler’s efforts to exterminate Jews.

Lula said Israel’s military campaign was between a “highly prepared army and women and children”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Lula’s comments “trivialized the Holocaust” and “crossed a red line.” He also accused Lula of being a “virulent anti-Semite.” Israel’s foreign ministry said it summoned Brazil’s ambassador in Israel for a reprimand.

Lula’s words drew praise from Hamas, however, which described the remarks as “an accurate description” of what people were facing in the Gaza Strip.

Lula also condemned the suspension of humanitarian aid to the UN Palestinian refugee agency, urging an investigation into errors without cutting off funding to help those affected by what he called a “genocide.”

Lula has supported South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide at the U.N.’s International Court of Justice.

AFP, Associated Press, Reuters, BBC


St. Vincent and the Grenadines court maintains criminalization of gay sex

The top court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines upheld laws criminalizing gay sex in the Caribbean country on Friday, a blow for the LGBTQ+ rights activists.

Cristian González Cabrera, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, called the ruling “a travesty of justice” and said it represented “tacit state endorsement” of the discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, reports the Associated Press.

Though the laws are rarely used judicially, activists say they help legitimize physical and verbal abuse against the gay community in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The ruling in two separate multi-year cases “runs counter to a series of court decisions that have overturned anti-LGBTQ+ laws in the Caribbean,” reports Erasing 76 Crimes, noting that “laws against same-sex intimacy have been canceled in Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Barbados.”

Mexico

  • A massive demonstration in Mexico City protested against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s efforts to reform the National Electoral Institute. Organizers say 700,000 people turned out, if so, it would be one of the largest protests against AMLO. (Reuters)

  • The demonstrations were called by Mexico’s opposition parties and advocated for free and fair elections the same day presidential front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum registered as a candidate for ruling party Morena, reports the Associated Press.

  • The government downplayed attendance, saying 90,000 people participated in the protests. (Aristegui Noticias)

Regional Relations

  • Chilean social media users have flooded the British Museum’s Instagram posts calling for the return of a moai statue, one of the stone monuments from Easter Island. (Guardian)

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Brazil and Argentina this week, and is set to meet with both countries’ leaders and attend a gathering of G20 foreign ministers, reports Reuters.

Argentina

  • Poverty levels in Argentina hit 57.4% in January, the highest in at least 20 years, according to a report by the Catholic University of Argentina. (Reuters, BATimes)

  • After the ignominious legislative defeat of a massive reform bill, the Milei administration is preparing a raft of reforms by decree and individual bills, reports La Nación. Among the most controversial could be pension reform and a move to declare education an “essential service,” limiting teacher’s right to strike.

  • Former Fernández administration economy minister Martín Guzmán criticized Milei’s economic position and that of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, as two ideological “extremes,” saying that neither vision is supported in international economic circles. (DiarioAr, Ámbito, Infobae)

Jordana Timerman / Latin America Daily Briefing
http://latinamericadailybriefing.blogspot 02 19 2024

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