Venezuela on Thursday won a seat on the controversial U.N. Human Rights Council — a move that the U.S. quickly branded “an embarrassment” and further proof that its decision last year to leave the body last was the right one.
There had been a last-ditch push in the last 10 days by Costa Rica to deny them the seat, but Venezuela took nine more votes, securing the seat with 105 votes.
Venezuela has descended into economic and social ruin as dictator Nicolas Maduro has been engaged in a tug-of-war for power with Juan Guaido, the U.S.-recognized president since elections this year.
The socialist country has been dogged by malnutrition, disease and violence, as well as accusations that the government is engaged in money laundering and supporting terrorism. In his address to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that four million people have fled the country, which he called “one of the largest displacements in the world.”
When President Trump addressed the U.N. General Assembly, he used the Human Rights Council’s own report to condemn the Venezuelan dictatorship and cited some of the country’s appalling human rights abuses.
“According to a recent report by the United Nation Human Rights Council,” Trump said, “women in Venezuela stand in line for 10 hours every day waiting for food, over 15,000 people have been detained as political prisoners, modern day death squads are carrying out thousands of extrajudicial killings.”
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