Bolivia’s President Evo Morales declared Israel a “terrorist state” because of its ongoing offensive in Gaza.
Israeli citizens will now be required to obtain a visa before travelling to Bolivia. Previously, under a 1972 agreement, which Morales denounced for being “signed under a dictatorial regime,” Israelis could travel freely into Bolivia without having to obtain a visa, according to La Razón.
Israel is now considered a “group 3” country, meaning visa applications must be reviewed by the National Migration Administration.
“In other words we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state,” Página Siete reported Morales as saying.
“Israel does not respect the principles or purposes of the United Nations charter nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Morales said, according to Página Siete.
Morales, an admirer of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian socialism, broke off diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in 2009, and has renounced Israel’s treatment of Palestinians “a genocide.”
South America is often a popular destination for young Israelis.
Other South American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, have recalled their ambassadors from Israel in protest over the fighting in Gaza.
1,462 Palestinians have been killed and more than 8,000 injured since the Israel began its siege on July 7. At least 55 Israelis, mainly soldiers have died.