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Montevideo, April 21st 2019 - 12:25 UTC

Latam divided on UN Crimea vote; Mercosur, except for Venezuela abstains

Friday, March 28th 2014 - 08:21 UTC
Full article 41 comments
“Brazil supports all efforts for a peaceful solution to the crisis and invites the sides to an inclusive dialogue”, said ambassador Patriota “Brazil supports all efforts for a peaceful solution to the crisis and invites the sides to an inclusive dialogue”, said ambassador Patriota
The resolution “limits dialogue and the peaceful solution of conflicts” according to Argentine ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval The resolution “limits dialogue and the peaceful solution of conflicts” according to Argentine ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval

The UN resolution condemning the annexation of Crimea by Russia which was voted on Thursday at the general assembly showed Latin America (and Mercosur) divided on the issue. The non binding resolution sponsored by Costa Rica and the western powers received 100 votes, with 11 against and 58 abstentions.

 Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Dominica Republic supported the text in defense of the principle of territorial integrity and condemning the illegality of the 16 March referendum in Crimea, in which the majority of the Crimean population voted for the incorporation to Russia and was accepted by the Kremlin.

Those voting against included ALBA members (Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas Peoples), Venezuela (Mercosur), Bolivia (in the process of joining Mercosur), Nicaragua and Cuba. ALBA was masterminded by the former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Among those abstaining were Mercosur full members Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, plus Ecuador and El Salvador.

The Ukraine crisis and Crimea annexation has serious diplomatic and political implications for Latin America besides the traditional alignments close or not to the United States.

One of those issues refers to the legality of the referendum and later Russian annexation taking into account the Falklands/Malvinas question, with sovereignty disputed by Argentina and where in March 2013, an overwhelming majority, 99.8%, in a referendum with international observers voted to remain as a British Overseas Territory.

The other troubling issue is that of the 'Maiden revolution' in Ukraine which ended in February with the ousting of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich, and which is seen by several Latin-American countries as a regime change forced by Washington and its allies.

This is particularly significant given the current situation in Venezuela where protests that took off on 4 February against the government of elected president Nicolas Maduro have escalated to a situation of open revolt with over 36 people killed and more than 400 injured.

Others countries such as Brazil, Argentina and even Chile which have suffered massive protests, some of them spontaneous, with thousands of people in the streets demonstrating are closing following events. Ecuador, Bolivia were also exposed to similar situations and in Paraguay a president was removed by Congress.

“Bolivia can't remain silent before the attempts to interrupt a constitutional process; before the tearing down of a government elected legitimately by the people”, said Sacha Llorenti the country's ambassador before the UN arguing that the vote did not represent 'adhering or condemning any country in particular“

”The phrase 'change of regime' has extended across our planet, the same words and some of the same methods used to oust democratic elected governments and which have been implemented for several decades in all continents. They asphyxiate governments democratically elected in the name of democracy“, claimed Llorenti.

The Bolivian ambassador then enumerated ”the provision of millions of dollars through NGO, the media bombardment, misinformation and the financing of the opposition to combat legitimate governments“.

The Cuban ambassador Rodolfo Reyes went further and claimed there was a plan ”to violently oust a constitutional government at the price of tens of lives and hundreds of injured, because of the intervention of the United States and its NATO allies“.

Among the abstentions that of Brazil was the most outstanding given the country's regional power standing and the fact it is a member of BRIC of large emerging economies, made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

”Brazil supports all efforts for a peaceful solution to the crisis and invites the sides to an inclusive dialogue“ said ambassador Antonio Patriota in a speech in which he avoided openly referring to the Crimea situation. The four BRICS associates of Russia abstained.

Argentina on the other hand reiterated its 'very clear' position on the principle of territorial integrity but criticized the 'moment chosen' for the resolution, insisting that ”it only leads to limit dialogue and the peaceful solution of conflicts“, said ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval.

Likewise Uruguay's Cristina Carrión argued that ”the territorial integrity of States is a UN principle“ but the project involves ”elements of political inconvenience and which significantly alter the reach of the current resolution“.

Those countries that supported the resolution clearly claimed that respect for the charter of the UN was paramount and that appealing to arms to solve crisis was not acceptable.

”Self determination to be real must be preceded of an open debate, clear and with accepted rules by all sides, plus the impartiality of authorities and the presentation of true alternatives to the population“ argued Eduardo Ulibarri, Costa Rica ambassador, and one of the country-sponsors of the UN resolution.

”We are concerned that given real or artificial disputes, the first action has been the display of military forces, not the opening of dialogue” underlined the ambassador.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    The European Union eager to get their hands on the natural resources of Ukraine and expand their economic exploitation, financed and armed uprising against the democratically elected government of Ukraine. European and North-American NGOs acted criminally against poor Ukraine.

    The European Union and the United States make any business to STEAL the wealth of others. They are the real criminals punishable.
    Who will punish them? The UN?

    Mar 28th, 2014 - 10:29 am 0
  • Clyde15

    You really are a dogmatic brainwashed fool if you believe what you have written. As usual, it is some dastardly plot to overthrow the govt. of the Ukraine. The population were infiltrated by western agents who forced the President out. Isn't it strange that the Ukraine were about to embrace the EU, hoping for future membership and after a visit by the president to see Putin, an about face to hand their country over to Russia.
    Did Putin offer him a deal that he could not refuse ...as in the Godfather ?

    Mar 28th, 2014 - 10:47 am 0
  • Lou Spoo

    I can just picture the scene at the UNGA;

    Argentine representative:
    “Argentina says self-determination for the Falklands breaches Argentine territorial integrity therefore the Falklands referendum is invalid just as the Crimean referendum breaches the integrity of Ukraine and is therefore legal”

    Advisor:
    (whisper, whisper, whisper)

    Argentine representative:
    “I mean the right of self-determination for the Russian speaking population of Crimea to join with Russia is a basic human right just like the English speaking population of the Falklands right to remain with the UK isn’t”

    Advisor:
    (whisper, whisper, whisper)

    Argentine representative:
    “I actually meant to say the UN charter clearly states that a country has the right to impose a referendum in part of another country’s sovereign territory whether that territory’s Government agrees or not, therefore the Crimea referendum is legal………but the Falklands is not”

    Advisor:
    (whisper, whisper, whisper)

    Argentine representative:
    “What do you mean it doesn’t say that?”

    Advisor:
    (whisper, whisper, whisper)

    Argentine representative:
    “Can’t we just lie and hope nobody checks?”

    Advisor:
    (whisper, whisper, whisper)

    Argentine representative:
    “Argentina abstains…………………………., can anyone spare any change?”

    Mar 28th, 2014 - 10:47 am 0
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