March 2, 2022 was a historic day. At an emergency session, the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning Russian aggression, with 141 countries voting in favor, 34 abstaining, and only five voting against, The New York Times reported. The no votes came from Belarus (a long-time close friend of Russia), Eritrea, North Korea, Syria, and obviously, Russia. The resolution is not legally binding but is an expression of the views of U.N. members, aimed at increasing pressure on Moscow and its ally, Belarus, The Guardian said.
Such a resolution requires a two-thirds majority to be approved, a number which was easily surpassed. The resolution “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine” and “demands that Russia unconditionally withdraws all of its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.” It also condemns “all violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights” during the conflict.
Cuba and Nicaragua abstained
Two of Russia’s staunchest allies in Latin America declined to vote against the U.N. resolution condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Both Cuba, with a decades-long relationship with Moscow, and Nicaragua, whose authoritarian leader has expressed support for the invasion, abstained from the vote condemning Russia’s actions, The Miami Herald reported.
How about Venezuela? Nicolás Maduro has been a supporter of the Russian invasion, with declarations such as, “What they are doing against the Russian people is a crime, an economic war.” Maduro also reiterated time and again his support for President Vladimir Putin in what the Venezuelan dictator calls the “conflict with Ukraine.”
So, it was only expected that Venezuela would vote “no” on the U.N. resolution. But Venezuela simply did not cast a vote. The reason is unpaid dues to the U.N. Qué vergïenza!
Venezuela has entered the list of U.N. defaulters since 2016 when it began to accumulate outstanding debts that prevented it from having a vote within the international body. This was the fifth time Venezuela lost its right to vote in the U.N. General Assembly, due to a millionaire debt accumulated in the payment of mandatory dues to participate in the organization. The country must pay a minimum of $40 million to be removed from the list of 10 other countries in arrears by 2022, according to an official document from Secretary General António Guterres explaining that the sanction is established in Article 19 of the U.N. Charter.