Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido gives himself a thumbs-up, Feb. 8, 2019. (AP/Ariana Cubillos) (AP/Ariana Cubillos)
Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido

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Relations between Israel and Venezuela were traditionally strong but soured radically under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, who established close ties with Iran.

By United with Israel Staff

Venezuela’s self-declared leader Juan Guaido says he is working with Israel to restore bilateral diplomatic relations that were severed in solidarity with the Palestinians in the wake of the 2008–2009 Gaza war.

In April 2009, then-Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro and Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki established formal diplomatic relations.

“I am very happy to report that the process of stabilizing relations with Israel is at its height,” Guaido told Israel Hayom in an interview published Tuesday.

He says that the announcement of resumed ties will be made “at the proper time.”

Last month, Israel joined the U.S. in officially recognizing Guaido as interim leader of Venezuela as he challenges President Nicolas Maduro’s rule amid a growing humanitarian crisis sparked by falling oil prices and governmental mismanagement.

“This is very important for us,” Guaido stressed, adding: “First we will renew the relationship, then we will announce the appointment of an ambassador in Israel, and we very much hope that an ambassador from Israel will come to us.”

Asked by Israel Hayom whether his new embassy would be established in Jerusalem, Guaido replied: “This is part of the issues that we are discussing…the renewal of relations and the location of the embassy.”

Venezuela voted in favor of the 1947 U.N. partition plan and in 1949 supported Israeli membership in the United Nations, establishing diplomatic ties with the Jewish State at about the same time. Relations between the two countries were traditionally strong but soured radically under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, who established close ties with Iran.

Last month, Guaido, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, was recognized as the legitimate President of Venezuela by 50 nations, including the United States. Israel was the first country outside the Americas to recognize Guaido’s presidency.