The “Wretched of the Earth” Raise Their Voices of Dignity in the UN

Most papers have portrayed the battle taking place at the UN, for the Security Council seat, as one in which Guatemala has beat Venezuela in most voting rounds. This, however, is an oversimplified view of what has been happening. Rather, the success of Venezuela’s candidacy cannot be measured in terms of rounds won or lost because the dignity and voice of the voiceless cannot be negotiated, silenced, or beaten. The dignity of the countries backing Venezuela cannot be understood at the UN because it is not for sale. These nations are determined to fight for a better future for their people. Also, this battle is not just about war, but about inhuman sanctions that annihilate civilian populations more cruelly and slowly than an atomic bomb. It is also about the historical hunger for justice that children, men, and women have, who have been subdued by war and by IMF and World Bank structural adjustment programs.

The cardinal mission of the United Nations is peace, but we have a body that is an inarticulate monster of a thousand heads that confuses and acts according to an outdated, first world logic. This is how we have a corrupted UN Security Council with an amoral diplomacy that ignores the Israeli massacre in Lebanon in order to placate the North American empire.

The world of diplomacy is a world of conformism, of a virtual reality of the elites, a world of minimalist goals that resolve nothing. Diplomacy that supports the U.S. is irresponsible and shortsighted. Abstention is the option of the cautious who want to save face in both worlds, without understanding that either we fight against an amoral order or there will be no peace for anyone.

The victory of the countries that support Venezuela is a fact – it is not just about a seat on the Security Council. The peoples that support Venezuela have decided to unite their destinies as sovereign nations, their determination to overcome being the “wretched of the earth,” as Frantz Fanon said, in order to give battles for justice and a planetary peace that would make the United Nations look small in comparison. My respect goes to the brave diplomats that represent our dignity and the human rights of the “sub-humans” in the United Nations.

Venezuela has been emphatic in affirming that it is not competing with its sister republic of Guatemala for the Security Council seat, but is competing with the Empire, the United States. And this has been evident by the constant lobbying and movement between delegations all day by the U.S. Ambassador—a shameful lobbying—while the Guatemalan Ambassador remained in his seat, watching over the voting. Later the Guatemalan Ambassador went on to say that Venezuela is sequestering all ambassadors in the UN building by not refusing to withdraw its candidacy.

In reality, what has been sequestered is peace itself, the conscience of the diplomats, of heads of state, preventing that the voice of the peoples could be heard in the Security Council. This is how some seek to continue to leverage preventive wars, massacres, and the destruction of entire peoples. The business of war is coldly and “diabolically” calculated so that the company of the U.S. Vice-President obtains contracts for reconstructing that which has been destroyed and so that the empire thus gains control over zones with immense oil reserves, justifies its disproportionately high military expenditures, and guarantees immense profits for the private businesses of the elite that currently governs it.

We might lose this battle, but the will of half of the world’s nations has been empowered and will continue to raise their voices and fight for peace.

Carol Delgado is a long-time Venezuelan activist.



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