Sunday, July 16, 2006

Chile in a bind about Venezuela

The saga of Venezuela's efforts to get on the UN Security Council continues. The Venezuelan ambassador to Chile formally requested Chile's vote. This puts President Bachelet in a bind, because she had talked about finding a "consensus" country, but no such thing exists, and had hoped to vote against Venezuela to show solidarity with Peru, but now Peru seems to be moving toward voting for Venezuela despite Hugo Chávez's role in the presidential election. The article in La Tercera suggests that her only other option is to abstain. It seems that the main reason not to vote for Venezuela is that the U.S. has made clear it will react. Or at least I can't immediately think of another.

Along those lines, that same link to La Tercera describes how the Chilean Defense Minister is in Washington, in part to lobby Rumsfeld not to punish Chile (by cutting military aid) for refusing to grant waivers to U.S. citizens with regard to the International Criminal Court. No doubt the U.S. will link the UN issue to that.


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