Israeli Cooperation with Latin America
On 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly voted on the establishment of two states, one Jewish and one Arab, on the territory included in the British Mandate for Palestine; 13 of the then 20 Latin American member nations voted in favor. In the 1950s and 1960s, relations with countries of the region were strengthened, due in no small measure to joint programs in which Israel shared its experience and skills in areas such as agriculture, medicine, organization of cooperatives and rural, regional and community development and thousands of trainees participated in study programs in Israel. Developments, during the 1960s and 1970s led to a lessening of support for Israel of these countries, apparent mainly at the UN and its affiliated bodies.
Today Israel maintains full diplomatic relations with all the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean region, except Cuba. These relations are reflected in productive cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, as well as in a large number of bilateral agreements in many areas. The only two embassies located in Jerusalem are those of El Salvador and Costa Rica, a fact which adds a facet to the traditionally friendly relations with the countries of the region and especially those of Central America.
The friendly bilateral relations are only partially reflected in the multilateral sphere - in the votes of most countries of the region in the United Nations and other international organizations - inter alia due to their traditional affiliation with the Non-aligned States and the Group of 77. The political-economic-social Rio Group has so far manifested a more balanced and positive position regarding Israel.
Commerce is extending steadily. A Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and Israel, concluded in 2000, adds a new dimension to this sphere. Exports, including chemicals, high-tech software, agricultural produce, machinery and electronics, and imports, consisting mainly of meat, grain, corn, sugar, cocoa, coffee and metals, are both on the increase, and Israeli banks, construction firms and agricultural planning and development companies are active in the countries of Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Cultural and scientific agreements for the exchange of artists, students and athletes, as well as television and radio programs, operative with some 20 countries, are coordinated by the Institute of Israel-Iberoamerican Culture in Jerusalem.
Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs