Thursday, October 19, 2006


The UN General Assembly returns this morning to the task of trying to elect a member of the Security Council to represent the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States.

After twenty-two rounds of voting in the General Assembly on Monday and Tuesday, neither Guatemala nor Venezuela was able to win the two-thirds majority necessary to secure a two-year term on the Security Council.

Guatemala, which is being supported by the United States solely in an effort to block the aspirations of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has led consistently in the voting thus far, but many observers believe the GA will be unable to muster enough votes for either party to win in future rounds. In that event, a compromise candidate would have to be put forward by the Latin American and Caribbean Group.

Support for Venezuela's candidacy seems to be based on a combination of promises of support from Venezuela (a state currently awash in petrodollars) and a desire among some states to punish the United States for its overbearing attitude at the UN. Chavez probably lost many potential votes for Venezuela, however, with his undiplomatic speech to the United Nations in September.