Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a joint venture with Brazil’s Synergy Group to provide the conglomerate with drones under the condition that the aircraft should not be sold to Venezuela.
Brazil aims to purchase Israel’s Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) in an attempt to curb drug activities in Brazilian borders, as the state constitutes a transit point for cocaine coming from Colombia and Peru, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Israel’s relations with Venezuela strained after Caracas expelled Israel’s Ambassador Shlomo Cohen and other diplomatic staff in January 2009 in the wake of Israel’s air strikes on Gaza Strip in December 2008.
To retaliate, Israel expelled the Venezuelan chargés d’affaires from Tel Aviv a few days later.
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez had earlier condemned Israel’s hostilities against the Palestinians in Gaza.
“Israel is forced to protect itself by preventing such aircrafts from falling in the hands of governments, which have openly expressed hostility toward Israel’s policies,” said member of Venezuelan National Assembly Ricardo Sanchez.
After diplomatic relations between Israel and Venezuela broke off, a group of armed men raided a synagogue in the Venezuelan capital and damaged sacred texts and wrote anti-Semitic slogans on the walls.
The Venezuelan government, however, deplored the move, saying that Caracas respects the Jewish people but opposes the violence that Israel is using against Gazans.
“The West tries to make everyone believe that the Venezuelan government has a negative attitude toward Jewish people, but in reality we stand against the policies of Israel,” Venezuelan lawmaker Calixto Orega said.
Brazil has already purchased two drones and President Dilma Rousseff has voiced willingness to buy 10 more aircraft from Israel.