The Blog

Chavez to the Security Council?

3:24 PM, Aug 9, 2006 • By DANIEL MCKIVERGAN
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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.