Venezuela Wins Election To UN Human Rights Council

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Venezuela bested Costa Rica to earn a spot Thursday on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

According to the Washington Post, the two Latin American vacancies on the council were filled by Venezuela and Brazil — Costa Rica reportedly joined the race late in a last-ditch effort to deny Maduro’s government a seat at that table.

Critics had called for opposition to Venezuela’s bid, arguing that Maduro was attempting to influence or even undermine potential investigations into human rights abuses being reported from his own people. (RELATED: ‘Act Of Moral Illiteracy’: Code Pink Slammed For Defending Venezuela’s Maduro)

Louis Charbonneau, U.N. director at Human Rights Watch, told the Post, “With the seat, Venezuela will try to undermine scrutiny of its abuses and the abuses of its allies. The council’s fact-finding missions and commissions of inquiry have done outstanding work. The votes on some issues can be close, so we don’t need countries like Venezuela who try to undermine the good work.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley made the case against allowing Venezuela a seat on the council just days earlier.

The U.S. State Department also spoke out against the move.

“What he doesn’t know is that this maneuvering won’t let him hide his crimes,” said Julio Borges, foreign relations representative for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom many regard as the rightful president. “Elected democracies in this body will increasingly isolate the dictatorship and will expose its human rights violations.”

Maduro has maintained his grip on power in Venezuela despite multiple uprisings among his people and the fact that a number of nations — including the U.S. — have declined to recognize him as the rightful leader of his country.

Venezuela was supported in its bid for the Human Rights Council by Russia, Cuba and China, among others.