Venezuela won a contested election for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday despite a campaign by over 50 organizations and many countries opposed to Nicolas Maduro’s government and its rights record.
There was scattered applause in the General Assembly chamber when its president announced the results of the voting for two Latin American seats. Brazil topped the ballot with 153 votes followed by Venezuela with 105 votes and late entry Costa Rica with 96 votes.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the vote , a victory, that followed , a fierce and brutal campaign by the United States, and its subordinate nations.
The Trump administration has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president and U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft called the placing of President Nicolás Maduro’s government on the council , an embarrassment to the United Nations and a tragedy for the people of Venezuela.
That one of the world’s worst human-rights abusers would be granted a seat on a body that is supposed to defend human rights is utterly appalling, Craft said in a statement after the vote.
Russia has Control over Venezuela oil
The Venezuelan government is readying to hand over control over state oil company PDVSA to Russia’s Rosneft, a local newspaper has reported, citing sources from the industry.
the radical move is being discussed as a way of erasing Caracas’ debt to Moscow. The debt is sizeable: at the end of June this year, money owed to Rosneft alone stood at $1.1 billion.
That’s down from 1.8 billion dollars at end-March. Two years ago, Caracas and Moscow sealed a deal for the restructuring of another 3.15 billion dollars debt to Russia over 10 years with minimum payments over the first six years.
Since 2006, Russian loans to Venezuela have reached more than 17 billion dollars in total. According to the El Nacional report, Moscow had reacted positively to the suggestion, and several commissions had been set up and sent to Venezuela to evaluate the situation at PDVSA.
The first feedback from these commissions was reportedly that the company was too large and it needed serious layoffs to become more competitive.