Venezuela has taken the spotlight in this year's campaign for coveted seats on the U.N. Security Council but the hottest race is between New Zealand, Spain and Turkey whose foreign ministers are in New York this week lobbying for votes.

The U.N. General Assembly's 193 member states will vote Thursday to elect five new members to the U.N.'s most powerful body and Venezuela's socialist government is virtually certain to win because it is unopposed for the single seat allocated to Latin America and the Caribbean. It will be a far different result than 2006 when the United States succeeded in torpedoed Venezuela's campaign.

Angola is the only candidate for an African seat and Malaysia has no opposition for a single seat for Asia, so their victories are also virtually assured.