EspañolOn September 18, the United States announced that it will not oppose Venezuela’s bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council for a two year term that would commence in 2015. The US decision came after countries in the region unanimously endorsed Venezuela’s bid.
For those who have monitored the assault on human rights in Venezuela — as well as the country’s nefarious connections to the FARC, Hezbollah, ETA, and Iran — Venezuela’s appearance as a voting member of the Security Council would make a mockery of the UN Human Rights Charter.
Unfortunately, most of Latin America is now dominated by a Marxist-leftist cadre of countries that have warmly greeted the Bolivarian regime as well as the 50-year-plus Cuban dictatorship and the Bolivarian Alliance countries.
The United States has no other reason to support its action (or inaction) other than to avoid confrontation with the countries of the region, or that it has “bigger fish to fry,” as it seeks to build a coalition in the Middle East against the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL).
The first reason effectively shuts our traditional moral voice down, making us irrelevant in the region. This, unfortunately, is consistent with US policies, probably since the second half of the second term of the Bush administration.
These tendencies have continued under the Obama administration. The assumption is that Latin America, perhaps with the exception of Mexico and now the northern triangle of Central America, does not really present any security threats to the United States and thus may be successfully dealt with on mostly economic matters.
However, Venezuela presents a special set of problems for the United States which, if the country is successful in its bid, will become apparent in the Security Council.
This is actually Venezuela’s second attempt, as it placed the same bid in 2006, which was fiercely opposed by President Bush, despite the fact that the president then was dealing with his worst crisis in Iraq. US officials then strongly campaigned against Venezuela’s bid and managed to prevent the two-thirds majority the South American country needed.
Such will does not exist anymore. Venezuela is not only legitimized as a normal country, its abnormality, madness, and wrongdoings are downplayed. Even a limited-sanctions bill against Venezuela was opposed by the administration and by key Senators lobbied by the Venezuelan government.
Furthermore, in 2006, there were still countries in Latin America that saw the Bolivarian regime for what it really was. Today, the region is dominated by Marxist-leftist governments that view the Venezuelan government as a force for good, despite its malicious and systematic political repression, failed economic policies, and terrorist connections.
The message that Venezuela and others get from these events is that they can continue with their perverted behavior, because there is no effective political nor moral force to prevent it. Now the question is what Venezuela, under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro, will do once it secures its seat on the UN Security Council.
Without doubt, Venezuela will support its friends such as Iran, Syria, and others. That includes Russia, whose invasion of Crimea was supported by Maduro. Furthermore, Venezuela does not share our values and is likely to go against the United States or any other democracy on issues concerning peace and security, even though it is the job of the UN Security Council to guarantee international peace and security.
In addition to Venezuela’s hostilities towards the United States, as well as the regime’s total disregard for the human rights of her citizens, there are other compelling reasons why the United States and other countries should deny Venezuela’s bid.
(1) Venezuela is heavily involved in the drug trade. Venezuela is the only country in Latin America that willingly makes its ports and airports available to drug cartels and harbors the criminals. High officers in the government are deeply enmeshed in the drug business, including distribution (mainly to the United States and Europe) and laundering of drug money.
(2) The Venezuelan government has established alliances with rogue states and terrorist organizations such as Iran, Hezbollah, and the FARC.
(3) Venezuela has built a regional alliance (the Bolivarian Alliance). Through economic dependency, the Venezuelan government exports its ideology and its behavior. To cite a simple fact, the small ALBA members such as the Caribbean islands of Dominica, St. Kitts, Nevins, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and St. Lucia have signed agreements with Iran to provide this rogue state with passports for its citizens, in many cases under false names. This is something the Venezuelan government has been systematically doing for years.
As terrorist organizations such as ISIL and others continue to flourish, these actions of Venezuela could become even more ominous.
Yet, the administration does not want to be diplomatically isolated from the region; nor has it wanted to take action or make decisions countries in the region do not agree with.
Indeed, late last year Secretary of State John Kerry declared that the 190-year-old Monroe Doctrine — that unilaterally declared the United States the protector of the region — is over. On the same occasion, Kerry pointed out that the United States views partners in the region as “equals, sharing responsibility, cooperating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine but to the decisions that we make as partners.”
It is very generous of Kerry. Indeed, the United States has already effectively abandoned the human-rights agenda in Venezuela, because there is no regional support. But, would we apply the same logic when it comes to our own security?
Are we going to abdicate the responsibility and delegate our own security to these countries dominated by Cuba, Venezuela, and Brazil?
We urge the Obama Administration to reconsider its position on Venezuela’s bid for the United Nations Security Council and use its international leverage to deny the Maduro regime such an important seat.
This article first appeared in the Americas Report.