The U.N. General Assembly continues to vote for a non-permanent member of Security Council from the 32-nation group of Latin American and Caribbean States.
Although Guatemala has led Venezuela in but the one tie of the 29 ballots, Guatemala has failed to obtain a two-thirds majority of Member States present and voting.
Ambassador John Bolton says Venezuela should withdraw from the race:
"The honorable thing would be for the candidate that has now lost 28 out of 29 ballots to withdraw," Bolton told reporters at the UN. "But Venezuela insists on putting everyone through this vote after vote. It is clearly obstructionist."
According to the Associated Press, experts see this as a defeat for Chavez:
"This has to be considered a defeat for Chávez," said Edward Luck, a U.N. expert who heads the Center on International Organization at Columbia University.
[. . .]
"The Security Council isn't the place for a mud-wrestling match," Luck said of Chávez's U.N. speech. "People tittered and laughed at his comments."
Nile Gardiner, a U.N. expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, argued that Chávez is the bigger loser, given his efforts to raise Venezuela's international profile. Chávez, fueled by his oil-rich nation's petroleum dollars, has campaigned for the open seat for months.
"This is a massive victory for common sense on the world stage and a huge defeat for Chávez's virulent brand of fanatic anti-Americanism," Gardiner said.
The Guatemala/Venezuela standoff isn't that lengthy by U.N. standards. In 1979, a contest between Colombia and Cuba for a seat on the council went 155 rounds before Mexico was elected as a compromise choice. There is no limit to the number of ballots.
Ambassador John Bolton has it right again. Venezuela's refusal to withdraw from the deadlocked race along with Chávez's undiplomatic speech to the General Assembly during which he referred to President Bush as the Devil demonstrates Venezuela's obstructionism and is evidence as to why Venezuela should not be elected to the Security Council while Chávez leads the country.