Venezuela won its bid to occupy a seat at the United Nations Security Council today, the international organization’s most powerful body.
Venezuela will take its non-permanent seat for the 2015-2016 year after 181 countries out of a possible 193 voted in favour of the motion. Argentina, which currently holds the seat for the Latin American and the Caribbean region, will vacate it on December 31 of this year, after which time Venezuela will occupy it until December 31, 2016.
Venezuela joins Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Spain as the council’s newest temporary members.
The United Nations Security Council is the organization’s most powerful body. International crises often come to the council, which was created after the second world war as a forum for peaceful conflict resolution.
Venezuela will now have the opportunity to come to the table in matters of international peace and security, alongside the United States, Russia, France, China, and the United Kingdom, the council’s permanent members.
On the occasion, Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez said:
This overwhelming triumph happened despite the continued campaign to discredit our country and its institutions. This resounding victory is the result of a decision made by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias, when he decided to nominate Venezuela as a candidate in January 2007, and it is evidence to the global support his message of peace, solidarity and justice continues to receive. We dedicate this triumph to Commander Chavez.
Shortly after the announcement, someone took a picture of Leopoldo Lopez and Daniel Ceballos inside their cells in Ramo Verde holding signs that read: “ONU = LIBERTAD PRESOS POLITICOS” [“UN = Free Political Prisoners”]
This is the first photograph of Daniel Ceballos (left) since he was arrested and sent to Ramo Verde on March 19 of this year. This is Lopez’s third picture from captivity, and he has been incarcerated since February 18.
Maduro: “Contingency Plans” in Place as Oil Prices Fall
Speaking on the recent fall of oil prices, Maduro assured the country that his government had contingency plans in case to deal with any eventuality.
During a council meeting today in the Miraflores palace, Maduro said:
A revolutionary government with economic power such as the one over which I preside, has plans, I have plans, to endure any situation, even if they throw the oil prices wherever they want [meaning, “no matter what the price of oil is”] we have plans to substitute and guarantee the currency the country needs to ensure the survival of the economy.
Maduro also said that Venezuela had called for a special OPEC meeting to address the issue of falling prices. He also blamed the United States and its allies for attempting to influence the price of oil:
Why does the United States and some of its allies want to affect the price of oil? To hurt Russia.
Price of Venezuelan oil fell to their lowest levels since 2011 last week.
Below, a picture of the meeting today, showing PSUV President Diosado Cabello, President Nicolas Maduro, and Vice-President Jorge Arreaza:
NOTE: In yesterday’s update, I wrote that I would translate the two videos Maduro showed last night relating to the Robert Serra murder and post them in today’s update. Given time restraints the quality of the audio of the second video, I am unable to meet this deadline. As a result, the translations of both videos will appear on this blog tomorrow.