The U.N. General Assembly voted in favor of referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and to impose targeted sanctions on the Asian country. The vote was 111-19, with 55 abstentions.
Guess which was one of the nineteen countries supporting Pyongyang? The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. (Bolivia, Cuba and Ecuador voted “no” as well. El Salvador and Nicaragua abstained. The rest of Latin America voted Yes).
The government has supported North Korea before, notoriously in the U.N. Human Rights Council, but this is definitely a new low. The story is not over yet: the final call to send North Korea to the ICC is up to the U.N. Security Council, where Venezuela was recently elected. Right on time for the upcoming opening of North Korea’s embassy in Caracas.
If there was any doubt as to what to expect from Venezuela during its two-year tenure at the UNSC, look no further than the vote above. Venezuela has, once again, sided with Russia and China, joining Zimbabwe, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, and Myanmar, among others, to defend the most brutal dictatorship on the planet.
Venezuela could have voted no – after all, the outcome was all but certain – but instead made it a point of siding with the pariahs even in the face of certain defeat at the UN. The message to the Russians and the Chinese is crystal clear: I’m all yours, baby. I’m all yours.