Venezuela Trying To Buy UNSC Seat

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Hugo Chavez is going all out spending his country's money trying to buy a seat on the UN Security Council. He has been throwing large sums of money all over the globe, trying to lock in support for his bid. It is not yet clear that this will work out for him in the long run.

While Venezuela is expected to get a majority in secret balloting in the 192-nation U.N. General Assembly, Caracas may not achieve the required two-thirds vote, leaving open the possibility of a compromise candidate.

"This is a real wrestling match. This is a heavy-weight encounter," said Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

"If they vote with their head they're voting against Venezuela because, the United States is certainly going to make this an anti-Venezuela position," he said.

"If they vote with their heart they are basically saying: 'we're tried of being pushing around by Washington and we're just going to go our own way on this,"' Birns said.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, up for reelection in December, has campaigned hard for the seat in 2007-2008, sending assistance to Latin American countries as well as contributing to food aid in Africa.

And Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro left no doubt during a visit to the United Nations last month his government sees the race as one against the United States.

"Our debate is not with Guatemala,"' Maduro told reporters. "Our debate is with Secretary of State of Condoleezza Rice. We are calling for an end to the unipolar world that has been so damaging."

John Bolton has pointed out that back when Cuba had a seat on the UNSC in 1990-1991, they were very unhelpful by blocking real progress to address real issues. Cuba tried to obstruct the first Gulf War to free Kuwait. (T)Hugo wouldn't be any better, and in fact would likely be worse.

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