(Today's Christian Science Monitor has more on his bid for a Security Council seat: "One country that supports Venezuela's campaign is China, which is perhaps not enthralled with the Chávez rhetoric but is lured by the idea of more countries holding its worldview on the Council. China has not been shy about its preference to see greater respect in Security Council deliberations for nation-states' rights, and less attention to individuals' universal rights - ideas implicit in Chávez's discourse.") Posted on August 9, 2006: This fall the UN will vote to replace the current non-permanent members of the Security Council with new nations. Though little reported in the media, for many weeks Hugo Chavez has been traveling the globe trolling for enough votes from regimes opposed to the U.S. to get on the Council. He's been offering cut-rate oil deals and has signed agreements to buy weapons. His latest campaign swing brought him to Tehran, where he lavished praise on the regime for standing up to the Americans. Now, he's taken up the cause of Hezbollah and has accused Israel of perpetrating a "new Holocaust" in Lebanon. On Monday, Israel withdrew its ambassador to Venezuela. Earlier, Chavez recalled Venezuela's charge d'affaires to Israel. In a recent televised speech, the BBC reports, Chavez said that he had
no interest in maintaining diplomatic relations, or offices, or businesses, or anything with a state like Israel…. Israel has gone mad. It's attacking, doing the same thing to the Palestinian and Lebanese people that they have criticised - and with reason - the Holocaust. But this is a new Holocaust.
At least one very senior Republican I know of believes the Bush administration must make denying Chavez a seat on the Council a top priority. Specifically, all U.S. ambassadors should let their host country know that the U.S. government would view a vote for Chavez as an unfriendly act. The administration should also encourage a friendlier nation in Latin America to seek a Security Council seat. One thing is for sure: If Chavez succeeds, it would be very bad news for the U.S.
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