[Marxism] U.N. still at impasse on Guatemala-Venezuela vote
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Mon Oct 16 13:44:50 MDT 2006
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Reuters - Oct 16, 2006 2:07 PM ET
U.N. still at impasse on Guatemala-Venezuela vote
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Venezuela gained votes but still lagged
behind Guatemala on Monday in the fourth round of secret balloting
for an open Latin American seat in the U.N. Security Council for the
Guatemala, supported by the United States, received 110 votes, down
from 116 in the third round, while Venezuela got 75 votes, up from 70
in the third round. Six nations abstained.
But Guatemala did not get the two-thirds majority needed for victory
in the 192-nation body.
Further rounds of balloting are necessary during which a new
compromise candidate could emerge.
However, Brazil's U.N. ambassador, Ronaldo Sardenberg, said it was
still premature to think of a substitute candidate until the trend
Venezuela's U.N. ambassador, Francisco Javier Arias Cardenas, said
the United States had tried to turn the vote into a contest between
his government and Washington, and said votes cast for his government
had been "votes of conscience" in favor of the developing world.
"We are not competing with a brother country. We are competing with
the biggest power on the planet," he told reporters, adding that
Venezuela would not withdraw from the race.
But U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said, "I think it is very clear
there's a candidate with a strong predominant vote." However, he
expected more rounds. "This has just begun."
The Security Council has 15 seats, five permanent members with veto
power --the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- and
10 nations serving for two-year terms, five of them elected each
"DEVIL" SPEECH BACKFIRES
In other regions, South Africa, Indonesia, Italy and Belgium received
the necessary votes to win two-year seats in the council, beginning
on January 1. They replace Tanzania, Japan, Denmark and Greece.
Venezuela and Guatemala are vying for the Latin American seat being
vacated by Argentina while Peru stays on the Security Council until
the end of 2007 along with the Congo Republic, Ghana, Qatar and
Lichtenstein's U.N. ambassador, Christian Wenaweser, told reporters,
"It's going to be very hard to turn that (vote) around."
He and several other ambassadors said that President Hugo Chavez's
September speech to the U.N. General Assembly did not win him
friends. Chavez called President George W. Bush a "devil" and said
the American leader had left the smell of sulfur hanging in the
"Many people felt it was bad taste," said Tanzanian Ambassador
Augustine Mahiga. But he said Guatemala might have won the seat
outright had the United States not lobbied so hard on its behalf.
Within Latin America, nations have been divided, with Argentina,
Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia considered supporters of
Venezuela. Mexico, Columbia and most Central American nations have
indicated support for Guatemala.
Chile, where the debate had divided the ruling coalition of Michelle
Bachelet's government, said on Sunday it would abstain in the vote.
Its U.N. ambassador, Heraldo Munoz, said Santiago was abstaining
because there was no consensus candidate from Latin America.
Most decision in the Security Council, the most powerful U.N. body
are made by the five permanent members. But policy statements need
the support of all 15 members and a resolution has to have a minimum
of nine votes and no veto for adoption.
(Additional reporting by Irwin Arieff)
Â© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.
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