Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez is seeking a seat on the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, the group U.N. Watch reports. The independent watchdog group also says that Pakistan is additionally “slated to run unopposed for seats on the UN’s 47-nation Human Rights Council this year.”
“It’s an outrage,” U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer says in a press release, “due to their poor records on human rights protection at home and on human rights promotion at the UN.”
Neuer explains why it is ridiculous Venezuela could even be considered for such a position. “These are hypocritical candidacies. Chavez throws judges and critics in jail, bullies young student activists and uses his UN vote to shield the atrocities of others. Venezuela just voted against UN action on the horrific massacres perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”
Last year, Syria sought a seat on the same committee—a seat that was vacated when Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi was booted from the Human Rights Council.
The Associated Press reported yesterday that Chávez’s health is worsening:
President Hugo Chavez has raised serious doubts about whether he'll have the stamina for a successful re-election bid, revealing that he needs to return to Cuba to have a lesion removed that is probably malignant.
Chavez told Venezuelans on Tuesday that doctors in Cuba had over the weekend found a two-centimeter (less than an inch) lesion in the same place where they removed a cancerous tumor last year.
The socialist president, who hopes to extend his 13 years in power with another six-year term in the Oct. 7 elections, said the probability is high that the lesion is malignant and that he will likely need radiation therapy.
It is not clear who would take the strongman’s place if he were to step down or fall too ill to lead Venezuela.