President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela makes no bones about why he wants his country to win a seat on the U.N. Security Council. A successful bid will put him in a better position to pursue the anti-American crusade that has taken him on globe-trotting missions to Tehran, Moscow and Beijing over the years.

From all we know and have seen of Chavez over the years, he would use the seat on the Security Council first and foremost to obstruct the agenda of the United States and its allies.

Chavez loses no opportunity to condemn U.S. policies. And when he can't find any real targets for his complaints, he makes something up. His latest absurd claim is that there is a U.S. plan under way to topple Bolivian President Evo Morales. Chavez offers absolutely no evidence to back this up, but if you say it loud enough and often enough, someone is bound to believe it.

Venezuela has been able to mount a popularity campaign by selling oil to its neighbors at bargain prices. That's one reason it has the support of the vote-rich Caribbean Community for the U.N. seat. But Guatemala, the U.S.-backed candidate, is a founding member of the United Nations that has never served on the Security Council. It may be smaller and poorer than Venezuela, but it is more deserving of this seat on the most influential arm of the United Nations.

-- McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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