MEXICO CITY – When the United Nations voted for what was known as partition and created the State of Israel 64 years ago, subsequently granting it full membership, several Latin American countries – Brazil, El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Honduras – abstained, or, in the case of Cuba, voted against the relevant resolutions. Mexico abstained on partition, though it voted in favor of admitting Israel to the UN a few months later, and subsequently recognized the Jewish state, acknowledging that its national interest was best served by not taking sides in the Middle East imbroglio.
In the coming weeks, most Latin American countries will vote in favor of some form of UN membership or recognition of statehood that the Palestinian Authority is seeking. But some will not. The issue is not a simple one for the Security Council’s two Latin American non-permanent members, Brazil and Colombia, or for Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Honduras, which have already recognized Palestine, but have not yet voted to grant it “observer” status at the UN.