(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine began Friday its first Latin American congress in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, with delegations from a string of regional countries.
"This Latin American leadership is showing how other countries can collaborate... to show their support to the Palestinians," congress LatAm coordinator Suhail Assad was quoted by TeleSUR as saying, adding that the conflict was political, and not religious, in nature.
Assad commended Venezuela for "giving 1,000 scholarships to young Palestinians while the rest of the world had delivered only 800," while the Palestinian ambassador to Venezuela, Linda Sobeh Ali, said the South American nation had become "the focal point for the Palestinian cause in Latin America."
The congress will "develop solidarity between Palestine and Latin America, to end with a consensus on plans and projects to support the Palestinian people, and contribute to addressing humanitarian needs," according to the campaign's website.
The 'Right to Return' campaign was established two years ago by global activists, centered on the plight of Palestinian refugees and the Israel-occupied territories.
Venezuela has long been a staunch defender of the Palestinians; other countries from the region with leftist governments, including Argentina, Ecuador, and Cuba are also taking part, as well as regional powers Mexico and Chile.
Some at the congress drew parallels between the tense standoff between Palestine and Israel, and what many in President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist government have described as Venezuela's "struggle with imperialism."
Maduro has repeatedly accused the United States of "waging economic and political war" to destabilize his government, although his critics say failed economic policy and a crackdown on freedoms have led to the country's current dire state.
The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine has already held congresses in the Middle East, but the nongovernmental organization is now seeking to extend its reach worldwide.