Venezuela on Thursday won a seat on the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council — a move that the U.S. quickly branded “an embarrassment” and further proof that its decision last year to leave the body last was the right one.
There had been a last-ditch push in the last 10 days by Costa Rica to deny them the seat, but Venezuela took nine more votes, securing the seat with 105 votes.
Venezuela has descended into economic and social ruin as dictator Nicolas Maduro has been engaged in a tug-of-war for power with Juan Guaido, the U.S.-recognized president since elections this year.
The socialist country has been dogged by malnutrition, disease and violence, as well as accusations that the government is engaged in money laundering and supporting terrorism. In his address to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that four million people have fled the country, which he called “one of the largest displacements in the world.”
The United States, which left the body last year over concerns about its membership, condemned the election on Thursday and cited it as further justification for its own departure.
“Today’s election of the former Maduro regime in Venezuela to the UN Human Rights Council is an embarrassment to the United Nations and a tragedy for the people of Venezuela,” U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft said in a statement.
I am personally aggrieved that 105 countries voted in favor of this affront to human life and dignity,” she said. “It provides ironclad proof that the Human Rights Council is broken and reinforces why the United States withdrew.” – READ MORE