Despite US ally Costa Rica mounting a last minute effort to block the possibility, Venezuela has won a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, in a shock that will outrage anti-Maduro governments throughout the West, especially Washington.
The Washington Post reports of the news that the Maduro government will now hold a key human rights related position at the United Nations in what Caracas officials boasted is an “important achievement”:
The Maduro government, no longer recognized as legitimate by the United States and around 50 other countries, had sought a return to the 47-member panel to counter an image of international isolation — and thwart investigations into its own alleged abuses.
“We celebrate, once again, the Bolivarian diplomacy of peace at the U.N.,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said after the vote. “This victory is historic, since we faced a ferocious campaign.”
Thus in a major irony a government not recognized by the US and its allies, and further accused of expansive human rights abuses, now holds a UN decision-making post over human rights. It will serve a customary three-year term.
The socialist state reportedly received key support during Thursday’s vote from China, Russia, Cuba and other allies, including some deemed ‘rogue’ states by Washington.
Supporters of Costa Rica, which attempted to win the seat in order to prevent Venezuela taking, decried that the United Nation’s “credibility” was at stake again.
Past awkward moments for the UN Human Rights council involved Saudi Arabia’s election to a seat in prior years, as well as other nations with deeply questionable human rights records and the Philippines and Cuba. Libya and Sudan also won seats Thursday alongside Venezuela.