Sunday, October 05, 2014

Blocking Venezuela from UN Security Council

The drumbeat to try and deny Venezuela the rotating seat on the UN Security Council suffers from many logical deficiencies. I wrote about this before. It would be a terrible idea for the Obama administration to expend any political capital trying to accomplish it.


1. Latin America agreed in 2006 to take turns. It is Venezuela's turn. The U.S. would therefore have to assert publicly that Latin American agreements are null and void if it doesn't approve.

2. Given #1, the chances of success are slim to none. A failure for no reason hurts the U.S.

3. Given #1 and #2, success would require such massive maneuvering that the U.S. would find it harder to achieve more important goals (e.g. construction of international coalitions instead of unilateral action) later.

4. Having allies in that position doesn't necessarily work out well. Remember that Chile and Mexico blocked the Bush administration in 2003. The Bush administration's strongarm tactics backfired very badly.

5. Having adversaries in that position doesn't necessarily work out badly. Venezuela is replacing Argentina, which has never been friendly and is in a bitter dispute with U.S. courts but hasn't somehow used the Security Council for nefarious purposes.

If you support the effort to block Venezuela, you have to accept the fact that you advocate failing and losing influence for short-term symbolic reasons. That seems not to be a good use of political capital.


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