Venezuela will be a member of the UN Security Council beginning early next year and will hold that membership until the end of 2016.
The country’s candidacy received support to become a member in the first round of votes with a total of 181 members casting their preference. From those who voted, Venezuela needed to get at least 129 nations in favor, which it did, and now it is the fifth time that the Latin American country will hold a seat at the the United Nations body that is charged with overseeing global peace and security.
Caracas appeared alone in the group comprising the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Last July, the nomination had the consent of the region which pretty much guaranteed that Venezuela would have enough support at the General Assembly.
Of the ten rotating seats on the Council, five were chosen on Thursday. In the first vote countries like Angola, Malaysia and New Zealand were also elected to occupy a seat in the Security Council.
The confrontation between the USA and Venezuela is now guaranteed. Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the UN, said after the vote that “unfortunately the behavior of Venezuela has gone against the spirit of the UN” and its founding treaty, adding that “their violations of human rights in that country are also contrary to the principles of the UN body”.
In this regard, she said that the United States will continue to call on the Government of Venezuela “to respect fundamental freedoms and universal human rights.”
Venezuela will occupy, from January 1 2015, the seat left vacant by Argentina. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has welcomed Venezuela‘s entry as a non-permanent member of the Security Council of the UN, and has said it is a cause for national celebration and a tribute to his political father, Hugo Chavez.
As Maduro spread the news that Venezuela was now a member of the Security Council people interrupted his speech with applause and cheers. “We are a beloved and admired country in the whole world,” he said. Venezuela was supported by 181 countries.
The overwhelming support in the election has enabled Maduro to interpret it as a tacit support to his management, and proof that “this country is not isolated from the international arena”.
In a moment of euphoric intervention Maduro reiterated that his government is independent and has triumphed over international lobby against its interests.
He said that the temporary membership of Venezuela culminates a long campaign launched ten years ago by Chavez and presented by Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez “as the builder of this possibility” in a post-intervention appointment. In 2006 Venezuela applied for the Security Council seat, a position also sought by Guatemala.
After 47 rounds of voting none received the necessary qualified majority. It was necessary for the two governments to withdraw their applications and support a third country, Panama, to unlock the vote.
In addition to the United States, China, France, Russia and the UK have a permanent seat with veto power. The other five countries that are non-permanent members are Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria.