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Members of the Palestinian Diaspora Get A Hearing About The Situation In Our Region At Managua

MANAGUA — Representatives of the Palestinian diaspora in the region have been arriving in the Nicaraguan capital as the Fourth Congress of the Confederation of Palestinian Communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, COPLAC, gets underway today.

More than 120 Palestinian workers from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador, Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, Mexico, Chile, and Nicaragua are taking part alongside Palestinian organizations and representatives.

The event will be inaugurated by the Nicaraguan Foreign Minister, Denis Moncada Colindres and it continues until October 22.

During the congress, a new Board of Directors will be elected.

The representatives hope to “strengthen Latin American and Caribbean solidarity with the Palestinian cause,” in the face of the ongoing occupation by Israel, according to a COPLAC statement.

COPLAC was founded in 1984, and is linked to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

“COPLAC represents all Palestinians who live in Latin America and the Caribbean and their descendents, who total around 700,000 people,” the current General Secretary, Hanna Safieh said.

“We want to express our happiness that Nicaragua has been chosen for this event that brings together Palestinian residents with those who work in Latin America,” the Nicaraguan Vice President Rosario Murillo said.

Under the leadership of the Sandinista National Liberation Front, Nicaragua has long been a staunch advocate for the formal recognition of the Palestinian state in the United Nations and other international organizations.

But Chile has the largest Palestinian community, with nearly 500,000 living and working there, making it not only the largest Palestinian diaspora community in Latin America, but also outside the Middle Eastern region.

St. Croix and St. Thomas have large Palestinian populations and they are a major force in business in the territory.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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