Santa Elena de Uairen, September 23rd, 2014. (venezuelanalysis.com)- Ever since Venezuela’s bid for an alternate seat on the United Nations Security Council was anticipated as having unanimous regional support early this month, many wondered when the United States would launch a campaign to tip the country’s odds. Over the weekend, the Washington Post ridiculed president Nicolas Maduro and warned readers that, if elected to council, Venezuela would only “advocate for allies such as Syria, Iran and Cuba.”
On Saturday the Washington Post referred to president Maduro as "the economically illiterate former bus driver,” and demanded the Obama administration “help itself and send a message to Mr. Maduro by rounding up the 65 votes needed to keep Venezuela off the Security Council” for 2015-16.
The same day, the New York Times published an editorial calling Maduro “even more dangerous and divisive” than his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, and accused him of “throttling a once-free press.”
President Maduro, aside from being a former bus driver and union leader of the transportation sector, was also Venezuelan foreign minister from 2006 to 2013, and served as vice president to Chavez from 2012 until the leader’s death, upon which he was elected to office by popular vote.
teleSUR reported that the Venezuelan leader condemned the Post’s comments as “racist” and responded, "I'm proud that a bus driver can be president of the Republic...people (señores) at the Washington Post, this busman right here is going to the United States."
Maduro arrived in New York City on Monday night in order to attend the UN General Assembly for the first time as president. The South American leader cancelled his trip to the 2013 summit at the last minute, saying that "two highly serious provocations” were made on his life.
Yesterday he declared, “Tomorrow the 69th U.N. General Assembly meeting will begin. This year I will go to New York and I will represent the voice of Venezuela, of ALBA and the voice of Chavez.”
The UN Summit, which has brought together 140 heads of state to discuss climate change, is not the only event Maduro has on today’s schedule. The Venezuelan president will also be giving a talk at Hostos Community College in the Bronx at 6pm and some sources indicated the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, Ras Baraka, and son of revolutionary poet Amiri Baraka, may meet with Maduro this evening in a show of solidarity.
The UN Speech
This morning, while addressing the UN assembly, Maduro declared, “The environmental crisis is a result of the crisis of the dominating capitalist model, based on unsustainable production methods and consumption, which generates iniquity, injustice, poverty, and the destruction of the planet.”
He accused “the powerful of the world” of systematically assaulting nature without caution or respect for it’s limited capacity for renewal.
“We must change the economic model to change the planet,” the Venezuelan leader implored, indicating that Venezuela sustains 70% of its energy demands with hydroelectric plants and protects 60% of its natural territory, over 58 million hectares of forest, with some form of administrative defense such as national park of wildlife reserve decrees.
He argued that only “sustainable ecological development with an understanding of ecological social economics” will combat the environmental disaster, and he called on "all of humanity" to join an inclusive plan for recovery.