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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Quand Washington dicte sa loi

by Ramine Abadi and Bernard Duraud

United Nations: When Washington Dictates its Law

Translated Friday 27 October 2006

United Nations. Wearing down the opposition to block the election of Venezuela to the Security Council

The struggle at the United Nations between Bush’s United States and their black sheep, the Venezuela of Hugo Chavez, is heating up. This week, as half of the non-permanent members of the Security Council have to be renewed (ten countries are elected for two years in groups of five), the United States has thrown all its weight behind stopping Venezuela from obtaining the Latin American seat. They decided to use their power and all their influence to ensure that an ally of their own backyard be selected: Guatemala. The issue has already reached absurd proportions: in the last week, there have been 22 votes at the General Assembly to decide between the two countries. And another ballot took place in the late afternoon.

Venezuela, which has become one of the leading voices of the opposition to United States’ hegemony, doesn’t lack friends and support, especially among the developing and what used to be referred to as the "non-aligned countries". The United States has put all the pressure on their allies and other micro-states provoking the indignation of a number of diplomats, especially Latin American diplomats, who have denounced its “excessive support” for Guatemala

The Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, Francisco Aria Cardenas, made it clear yesterday that the candidacy of his country is not directed against Guatemala, but against the pressures exercised by Washington, which intends to decide which candidate to vote for: “It is unacceptable” he said. Admittedly, the United States’ candidate, Guatemala, came ahead during the previous votes (the last vote gave Guatemala 102 to 77), but no country has managed to reach the needed two-thirds majority (124 of the 192 members of the General Assembly) to win the election.

Since the deadlock can’t last indefinitely, it could be resolved by the candidacy of a third country. This had already happened in 1979, when, after 150 rounds of voting, Mexico replaced the two previous candidates, Cuba and Colombia. The name of Uruguay has now been proposed … a third candidate, whom the United States will support if it means defeating Venezuela.

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