Friday, July 07, 2006

Venezuela's bid for the UN Security Council

The vote grubbing for the UN Security Council is really fascinating, pitting Venezuela against Guatemala, which is backed by the U.S., which has been actively twisting arms. The latest is that the 15 countries of CARICOM have announced that they will not support Guatemala.

Apparently, part of the issue is that Guatemala continues to have claims on part of Belize. However, money (in the form of oil and bananas) is also talking:

CARICOM officials said they would send a delegation to Caracas to clear up some issues relating to Venezuela's relations with the Caribbean, including details of PetroCaribe deal, an arrangement that allows Caribbean nations to buy oil on preferential terms.

But Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerritt said CARICOM ''has decided to support the candidacy of Venezuela.'' In addition to its issues with Belize, leaders here accuse Guatemala of contributing to the collapse of the Caribbean's banana industry by leading the fight against banana exports to Europe.

The Guatemalan Foreign Minister claims the country has 90 of the 127 votes (which is 2/3 of the General Assembly) necessary to take the seat. It needs fewer if not all countries vote. The jockeying will continue, as the vote will not take place until October.


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