Venezuela’s Bid to the UN Security Council

Carlos Urrutia Aparicio’s August 25th article, “El Consejo de Seguridad,” argues that the most suitable Latin American candidate for the soon-to-be open seat on the UN Security Council must have previously confirmed its ability and willingness to challenge policy positions being taken by other council members, including the permanent members possessing the veto power. In doing so, Aparicio finds that Venezuela is the most appropriate candidate for the council seat. However, as all else that is political, appointments are not determined only on merit. Hence, the United States has decided to oppose Venezuela’s aspirations and instead support Guatemala’s candidacy. This hostile strategy being implemented by the U.S. is to use Guatemala as its surrogate, and with it, Washington has raised the stakes of the diplomatic process surrounding the issue.
In terms of U.S. foreign policy, if Venezuela were to triumph, Washington would once again have lost an inter-American campaign as it did when it opposed socialist Jose Miguel Insulza’s victorious candidacy for Secretary General of the Organization of American States. Also, Washington likely fears that if Venezuela’s campaign is successful, President Hugo Chavez will be able to project his visionary views directly to the international community without the U.S. media possibly distorting his viewpoints on various regional interests. It will then be up to the international community to determine if Chavez’s rhetoric is sound policy executed by a bona fide international figure or simply brazen remarks from an individual lacking true substance. If it is the former, Venezuela’s presence should not jeopardize the functioning of the UN Security Council; and if it is found to be the latter, Caracas will soon enough be shown as undeserving of being taken seriously, to Washington’s great satisfaction.

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