CARACAS (Oct. 22)
A call for a continued climate of “comprehension” among members of Venezuela’s Arab and Jewish communities was made by President Rafael Caldera in his weekly press conference. Stating that his country maintained “friendly relations” with all the Middle East nations, and that Venezuela hoped that peace would soon come to the region, Caldera asked that the “conflict not be transferred to Venezuelan soil. At the same time, he announced that oil-rich Venezuela contemplates no increase in its production or exportation as a result of the current war. (Venezuela is a founding member of the Arab dominated Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.)
Meanwhile, in a televised interview last week. Israeli Ambassador, Joseph Shofman, reported that Caracas’ main Sephardic synagogue was the target of a midnight rock throwing attack, but that Jews would not “answer in kind” as far as local Arab buildings were concerned. The building of the Zionist Federation in Caracas’ heavily Jewish San Bernardino area was converted into the center of activities during the current crisis. Volunteers worked around the clock, issuing bulletins about the state of the war, accepting the names of volunteers for service in Israel and donations for the war effort.