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Saturday, April 22, 2006


Washington vs. Cuba & Venezuela

The battle is on:
The Bush administration is battling to stop Venezuela and Cuba from gaining seats in important U.N. posts in a confrontation that has many Latin American nations caught in the middle, diplomats and analysts say.

Most observers believe Washington faces an uphill battle to keep Venezuela out of the Security Council and Cuba out of a newly created U.N. Human Rights Council.

While President Bush is generally disliked abroad, leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuban leader Fidel Castro have courted nations with a strong anti-U.S. discourse and offerings that range from discounted oil to free eye surgery.
George Bush is "generally disliked abroad." But what makes Venezuela and Cuba the likely victors in these small skirmishes isn't George Bush, it's the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy which is what is really "generally disliked abroad."

All of the real power in the U.N. resides in the Security Council, and even there within its five permanent members. But these two votes are one of the rare situations where the General Assembly, composed of virtually all of the nations of the world, gets to have a say. And in that forum, the U.S. can experience some pretty humiliating defeats. At least, defeats that would be humiliating to someone with any humility.

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