Why Can’t Venezuela Vote at the UN?

from (Misión Verdad), translation by Orinoco Tribune, April 9, 2022

Many may be wondering why Venezuela, despite being a strategic ally of the Russian Federation, did not vote on April 7 in favor of Russia when the United Nations decided to suspend it from the Human Rights Council. The truth is that Venezuela was not allowed to vote.

Sures, a Venezuelan NGO dedicated to the defense of human rights from a critical and emancipation perspective, clarifies the reasons why Venezuela could not participate.

UN regulations establish that member states are responsible for defraying the expenses of the organization,” explains Sures in a Twitter thread. “The right of a country to vote at the General Assembly may be suspended when it owes quotas that in their sum total are equal to or greater than the total amount of its contributions in the two previous years.

Venezuela currently owes the UN a total of $39,850,761, corresponding to its 2021 membership fee, which has not been paid due to the unilateral coercive measures (sanctions) imposed on the country by the US. For this reason Venezuela’s right to vote was suspended by the UN in January this year, through a resolution under Article 19 of the Charter of the United Nations.

Sures further states that this is not the first time that Venezuela has lost its right to vote in the UN General Assembly due to delays in its financial commitments as a result of the blockade. “In 2017, 2018 and 2020, Venezuela fell under the provisions of Article 19 of the UN Charter, due to its non-payment of operating expenses,” informed Sures.

Nevertheless, the government of President Nicolás Maduro has not stopped trying to honor its financial commitments to the UN. In 2020, an attempt was made to obtain an exemption on payment dues from the Contributions Committee of the General Assembly, but the initiative was—obviously—blocked by the United States and the United Kingdom.

*Featured image: View of a voting process at the UN General Assembly. Photo: EFE

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