Argentina and Brazil, who at the beginning of the conflict maintained a position of neutrality, voted in favour

Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador abstain from condemning the invasion of Ukraine

PHOTO/AFP - UN General Assembly condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine by majority vote, 2 March 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has unleashed consequences around the world, and on Wednesday the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning Russia's actions. The vote was defined by 141 votes in favour, five against (Belarus, Eritrea, North Korea, Syria and Russia itself) and 35 abstentions

Among the countries that decided to stay out of the resolution were China and four Latin American countries: Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The vote of Venezuela, a well-known ally of Moscow, was not valid due to its debts to the organisation.

In a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart, the Venezuelan president expressed his firm support for the "special military operation" in Ukraine. "Nicolas Maduro expressed his strong support for Russia's key actions, condemning the destabilising activity of the United States and NATO, and emphasising the importance of combating the campaign of lies and disinformation launched by Western countries," a Kremlin statement said after the call at the "initiative of the Venezuelan side".

AP/MATIAS DELACROIX  -   El presidente de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro

The notable abstentions reflected the fact that several countries chose not to support the resolution against the invasion in Ukraine. Cuba is a historic ally of Moscow, which has prompted the Cuban government to point the finger of blame for the current conflict at the US and NATO's "increasingly offensive military doctrine that threatens peace".

For its part, Nicaragua, as a Russian ally, formally recognised the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. "President Putin has taken a step. He has recognised republics that, since the 2014 coup d'état, did not recognise the coup governments (of Ukraine) and established their government, putting up a fight," Daniel Ortega said at an official event, according to EFE.

AFP/MARVIN RECINOS  -   El presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega habla a sus partidarios durante la "Caminata por la Seguridad y la Paz" convocada por el gobierno en Managua
Votes in favour

Major Latin American economies, such as Argentina and Brazil, have been criticised for their neutral stance towards Russia's actions. However, both countries condemned the invasion of Ukraine, voting in favour in the UN resolution, although their presidents Alberto Fernandez and Jair Bolsonaro did not express their public rejection nor have they issued sanctions against Moscow.

Alberto Fernández was on an official visit to Moscow in the days before the invasion and offered the Kremlin to be "the gateway to Latin America". On Wednesday, however, Argentina's ambassador to the UN, María del Carmen Squeff, warned in her speech that "no territorial acquisition can be recognised as legal based on the use or threat of force".

AFP/PRESIDENCIA BRASILEÑA/MARCOS CORREA  -   Jair Bolsonaro, presidente de Brasil

For his part, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who also visited Russia on 24 February, had warned that his country had not yet decided its vote, noting that he was "not going to take sides". "We will remain neutral and will help as much as possible to find a solution," he added. Finally, on Wednesday, the Itamaraty Palace decided to support the resolution.

After the conflict began, López Obrador explained Mexico's position: "We are not going to take any economic reprisals because we want to maintain good relations with all the governments of the world". In this way, he refused to issue direct sanctions against Russia, "We do not consider that this is our responsibility, and we think that the best thing to do is to promote dialogue to achieve peace". 

REUTERS/EDGARD GARRIDO  -   El Presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador

He also disagreed with the veto imposed on Russia's media. I don't agree with the fact that the Russian media or any other country's media is censored. We have to assert freedom," he added.

Americas Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra