Caracas, Venezuela’s election to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a defeat for US President Donald Trump, who tried to block the Latin American country from joining the body over claims of human rights abuses, Jorge Valero, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told Sputnik.
On Thursday, Venezuela won a United Nations General Assembly vote to become one of 14 new members of the 47-member UNHRC and will start its three-year term on January 1, 2020. US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft called the outcome “appalling,” claiming that Venezuela was one of the world’s worst human rights abusers.
“[Venezuelan President] Nicolas Maduro has defeated Donald Trump and a genocidal government that tries to use human rights to attack developing countries,” Valero said. The ambassador added that his country was an example in the exercise of human rights and that the members who voted in favor of Venezuela joining the world body recognized this despite UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s report on alleged human rights violations there.
Venezuela took one of the two Latin American seats in the body with 105 countries supporting the Bolivarian Republic in a secret vote. Brazil won the second seat, defeating Costa Rica. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the outcome on Thursday a “historic victory,” achieved despite the US’ “brutal” campaign trying to bar Caracas’ entry to the UNHRC.
In June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet visited Venezuela, where she met with President Nicolas Maduro and representatives of various political groups. On the results of the visit, Bachelet issued a report expressing her concerns over the critical healthcare and economic crises and the deteriorating human rights situation in the country.