CARACAS, Monday March 26, 2007 | Update
Senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentinean
President Néstor Kirchner's wife, urged the Venezuelan
Jewish community not to be afraid of "anti-Semite" stances,
as "Latin America has a long tradition of respect and absolute
coexistence of different nationalities and religions."
"Our history (in the region) also includes pain, persecution," the senator said during her keynote speech before the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Venezuela's Israeli Confederation (CAIV).
Fernández de Kirchner compared the annihilation of Jews during the Holocaust to the dictatorship that seized power in Argentina 31 years ago, "following a bloody coup d'etat."
She also reminded a bomb attack in 1994 against the eight-floor AMIA Jewish community center in Argentina that left 85 people dead and other 150 injured. "They claimed it was an attack on the Jewish community, but it was not true. It was an attack on the Republic of Argentina," she exclaimed at the Hebrew Club in Caracas.
"Being a Jew both in Venezuela and Argentina means being settled in the history and interests of our communities," while confessing her eternal admiration for "the historic proud stubbornness of the Jewish people, for their honor to memory, truth and justice."
"Rest assured that each and every one of us holding institutional positions throughout Latin America not only will raise our voices, but will also take concrete steps in the face of any sign or type of anti-Semitism. We are not willing to give up a historic tradition in Latin America," the Argentinean First Lady told more than 400 guests, primarily leaders of Jewish communities in the region and diplomats.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.