On Saturday, the U.N. Security Council held its 8,542nd meeting. No, that’s not a typo. They’ve done so much good in the world after the last 8,541 meetings that they figured they would try it once more. This time, it was about Venezuela and the Maduro out/Guaidó in Presidential crisis.
The U.S. called the meeting, and it only squeaked through by one vote. (They had to hold a vote to meet.) After all, it was a Saturday. and who wants to work on a weekend? Plus, if anyone knows how totally useless the Security Council is, it’s the representatives who serve on it! They wanted to stay home.
Still, the U.S. felt it important to make a diplomatic show of its good, democratic intentions in Venezuela, but why they didn’t realize it would simply degrade into a three-ring circus is puzzling. They should have known much better.
No actual vote was on the agenda, and there was nothing to actually be gained by just meeting and talking, especially since no one really talks to each other at these meetings anyway; they only make speeches, or more specifically, criticisms of each other. Even if there was a vote, it’s a 100% guarantee that permanent members with veto powers would take opposing positions and make the exercise totally futile.
Some countries around the world still recognize Maduro as President, others support and now recognize Guaidó, and still others went to this weird space in geopolitics where they recognized neither, and simply called for calm and non-interference. (Hey, somebody’s gotta be President there now, right? Pick one, damn it!) Everyone knew most of these positions the day before, so we certainly didn’t need a special Security Council meeting about it on a nice Saturday morning. But the meeting gave a platform for some sitting SC members to voice the worst position of all (member states of the E.U. no less), representing the E.U. position as a “whole,”demanding that Maduro call for new elections within 8 days or they will recognize Guaidó.
Now, giving eight days to call for elections is one thing. Setting a realistic date is another. Expecting Maduro to hold these elections within a reasonable timeframe, let alone being free and fair, is outright fantasy. What are they smoking?
It was probably the dumbest, most confusing tact in diplomatic history, directly contradicting the position that Guaidó is now the President as recognized by the U.S., Canada, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Ecuador, Argentina, Panama, Peru, Kosovo, the U.K., France, Denmark, Albania, and majority vote by members of the Lima Group and the OAS. (Please note there is membership overlap in the nations and organizations cited here.)
Supporting Maduro, so far, are Russia, Iran, Turkey, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Iran, but China’s stance is fairly neutral at best. They’ll work with anyone in power in Venezuela to get paid past monies and oil shipments owed them.
Had the E.U. immediately recognize Guaidó and not issued this nutty 8-day warning to Maduro, more than 50 countries would have sided with Guaidó on Saturday, the guy who has already promised that he will call for free and fair elections within 30 days!
Was the E.U. trusting Maduro, based on past experience, over Guaidó, to run fair elections? (Bad Europeans. Maybe they’re still upset over reduced U.S. funding of NATO.)
Fortunately, Maduro being Maduro, he soon rejected the E.U.’s ultimatum, putting Guiado now at around fifty, except he still has a few days to come up with a strategy to fall back on the E.U. “proposal” and wiggle himself back into legitimacy.
To add to this circus-like atmosphere, Maduro supporters complained about U.S. interference in the crisis (not even necessarily militarily but politically), not realizing at all that their support for Maduro is interference. They can’t color outside, international support for Guaidó as interference, based on the legitimacy of the Venezuela National Assembly which claims Guaidó as President. and the Constitution which gives them the power to do it. This was the major hypocrisy of hearing these clowns talk, telling the U.S. to behave one way, while they behave another.
It will be interesting to watch how the U.S. and Guaidó’s allies behave during the eight-day E.U. deadline period, but it’s going to be a real circus after that. There’s a sucker born every minute, and right now, it’s the E.U. playing that part.