Saturday, July 29, 2006

Venezuela and the UN

Here is a solid NYT piece on Venezuela's bid for the UN. It discusses the dynamics of the eventual vote, but I wish it had more on the attitudes of specific Latin American governments. I see most of South America going for Venezuela, but I am less sure of Central America (since Guatemala is the U.S. candidate), Mexico, and the Caribbean.

If the region cannot designate a country, then the entire UN General Assembly will cast ballots, and winning requires a 2/3 vote. Who knows what will happen between now and October, but if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Venezuela.


Anonymous,  1:50 PM  

Venezuela will not likely get the UN vote, Chile, Peru, Colombia will more than likely vote against it. Argentina, Bolivia will vote for it. Brazil, Urugauy, Paraguay I am unsure, although I have read comments from the Brazilian military saying they are very uneasy with the military buildup. Ecuador might vote against it based on the recent failed oil deal.

Greg Weeks 1:54 PM  

Unless something has changed, Mercosur countries have already said they'll vote for Venezuela, as did Peru (which is what then put Chile in a bind). Check out my previous posts on this--if something has changed, I'd be interested.

My overall point is that since there is no consensus in Latin America, the vote will be global, in which case Venezuela will likely win. But that's just my guess.

Anonymous,  8:22 PM  

I was unaware of Peru saying they would vote for Venezuela. I agree Chile is a wild card, although the Chilean ambassador got reprimanded for saying Chile supported Venezuela and Chilean govt. denied the claim. About Brazil it appears there might be tension between the military (worried about Chavez) and the politiicans (who like Chavez), in the end the politicians have more say.

I totally agree that Latin America is divided on the issue and the current US administration makes it more difficult. I recently read an article with a quote from the Guatemalen UN rep stateing they had the 2/3 votes required to be on the security council.

Venezuela's increasing ties to Iran and North Korea might work enough against it. On the other hand Chavez is spending large sums of money abroad and the US isn't to popular right now. Personally I find it difficult they get voted on, but again strange things happen in politics.

Greg Weeks 8:43 AM  

Yes, my own guess comes from the notion that many countries will be voting anti-U.S., and not really pro-Venezuela. It could be seen as an opportunity to make things more difficult for the U.S. at the Security Council. But for now it's pure speculation.

Anonymous,  10:56 PM  

The Venezuela/UN Security Council issue is yet another legacy of the current White House administration. I think it is now a foregone conclusion that Venezuela will win the seat. The US has close to zero credibility in the region right now due reasons we don't need to go into detail here. So, when a critical issue comes along, the US may be on the losing end even though most Latin American governments (save Evo and Nestor) certainly do not want to see Chavez amass more power. You think the Brazilians want a strong Chavez? The Chileans? The bottom line is that going against Bush is a winning strategy for any Latin American politician. And the last time I looked, getting votes still prevails over logic in most countries.

Greg Weeks 8:13 AM  

Actually, the more important point is having no credibility in the world. Remember, this is not simply a Latin America issue--if there is no regional consensus, then the vote is global.

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