AP, United Nations : Venezuela won a contested election for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday despite a campaign by over 50 organizations and many countries opposed to Nicolas Maduro's government and its rights record. There was scattered applause in the General Assembly chamber when its president announced the results of the voting for two Latin American seats. Brazil topped the ballot with 153 votes, followed by Venezuela with 105 votes and late entry Costa Rica with 96 votes. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the vote "a victory" that followed "a fierce and brutal campaign by the United States ... and its subordinate nations." The Trump administration has recognized opposition leader Juan GuaidÃ³ as Venezuela's interim president and U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft called the placing of Maduro's government on the council "an embarrassment to the United Nations and a tragedy for the people of Venezuela." "That one of the world's worst human-rights abusers would be granted a seat on a body that is supposed to defend human rights is utterly appalling," Craft said in a statement after the vote. Brazil's foreign ministry said its re-election to the council marked an "important victory" but criticized Venezuela's selection.
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