November 2, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Panama to join Security Council

After 47 rounds of voting by the General Assembly in which neither country managed to get the required two-thirds majority, Guatemala and Venezuela reached a mutual agreement to support Panama for the Latin American rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. See Given that Hugo Chavez had made this a high-stakes bid, vowing never to concede to the Yankees, it would appear to be a diplomatic setback for Venezuela. The compromise of Bolivia proposed by Venezuela last week apparently went nowhere. Panama is currently led by a moderate leftist, Martin Torrijos, and his country has already drawn much global attention by voting to expand the canal.

Campaign ends in Nicaragua

All indications are that former president Daniel Ortega will be elected president in two more days. The United States has played a very detached, low-key role, not wanting to give the slightest hint of interference. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack refused to comment about how U.S.-Nicaraguan relations might change if Ortega were to become president. (via C-SPAN) Now we will find out whether the Sandinista leader really has matured and become responsible and market-savvy, like Brazil's Lula da Silva or Peru's Alan Garcia.