Venezualan FM predicts country's seat on UNSC

Venezuela's foreign minister predicted his country would obtain a seat on the UN Security Council despite US pressure on Latin American nations to oppose the candidacy, but denied Venezuela is using petroleum to gain influence in the region. Ali Rodriguez said efforts by the Bush administration turn others against Venezuela's bid would ultimately fail, just as US efforts last year to rally Latin American nations behind Washington's candidate for a new secretary-general of the Organization of American States failed. "The United States could not impose candidacies, and something similar is certainly going to happen in the UN Security Council," Rodriguez said during an interview broadcast on the Caracas-based Telesur television network. The government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is competing with Guatemala for a regional seat on the 15-member Security Council, which is responsible for maintaining international peace and security.