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Venezuela Wants Colombia in UN Council Agenda, Unlike Honduras and Sri Lanka

[Inner City Press, Thursday, 26 November 2009 08:58 No Comment]

Venezuela has asked the UN Security Council to put Colombia on its agenda, in a seeming shift in Hugo Chavez’ foreign policy.

Venezuela is among those countries often opposing UN intervention into "internal matters" of countries such as North Korea or Sudan. And while Venezuela’s request sites seven U.S. bases in Colombia, Venezuela has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations, despite them have large Russian military installations.

On November 25, Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero strode into the Security Council to deliver a package of documents to this month’s Council president, the Ambassador of Austria. Then he made a similar visit to the president of the General Assembly, Ali Treki. A Treki staffer told Inner City Press that while Venezuela has requested an appointment, they had not disclosed the topic.

Moments after visiting Treki, Ambassador Valero came to the briefing room and announced his countries request that "the Security Council… include in its work agenda the examination of Colombia’s serious armed conflict." In support, Valero cited the number of internally displaced people.

One immediately thought of the conflict in Sri Lanka, which this year alone generated 300,000 IDPs. Still, Venezuela’s allies blocked inclusion of Sri Lanka into the Security Council’s agenda. Why is Colombia different?

Inner City Press asked Valero to confirm that his country had opposed inclusion of Honduras onto the Security Council’s agenda, and to explain the Venezuelan or Chavez position on Russian military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Video here, from Minute 32:32.

Ambassador Valero, appearing to read from notes, declined to provide any answer on Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As to Honduras, he said that several Latin countries had asked the General Assembly to get involved, and want the Assembly still involved. But why not the Security Council?

 Hugo Chavez at the UN, Abkhazia and Honduras in Council not shown

Valero sited this month’s Protection of Civilians resolution of the Security Council as the basis for his request. Perhaps that’s the argument: since the Sri Lankan deaths and displacement happened in the months before Council resolution 1894, there is no need to be consistent. We’ll see.

Inner City Press: Investigative Reporting from the United Nations

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