The government of President Nicolás Maduro won a seat Thursday on the U.N. Human Rights Council, a controversial victory for a regime accused of using intimidation, torture and murder to cling to power.
The Maduro government, no longer recognized as legitimate by the United States and around 50 other countries, had sought a return to the 47-member panel to counter an image of international isolation — and thwart investigations into its own alleged abuses.
Venezuela and regional rival Brazil beat out Costa Rica for the two Latin American seats up for election. Costa Rica had declared its candidacy only this month in an effort to deny Venezuela a three-year term, but the support of China, Russia, Cuba and other allies gave the socialist state the win.
“We celebrate, once again, the Bolivarian diplomacy of peace at the U.N.,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said after the vote. “This victory is historic, since we faced a ferocious campaign.”…[ ]