Chavez craves a seat on the Security Council, partly for prestige reasons, partly so that his next foray into nutroots porn will have the biggest possible megaphone. The U.S. is backing Guatemala as an alternative.

124 votes are needed to win. Through six rounds:

Guatemala 109, Venezuela 76
Guatemala 114, Venezuela 74
Guatemala 116, Venezuela 60
Guatemala 110, Venezuela 75
Guatemala 103, Venezuela 83
Guatemala 93, Venezuela 93

A compromise candidate is possible at this point, but the way Venezuela’s trending it might not be necessary.

Whom do we root for? My heart says Guatemala but my head says Hugo!

The revolution will, in fact, be televised: you can watch the balloting live over the web here.

Update: Seventh and eighth rounds are done and trending back Guatemala’s way.

Guatemala 96, Venezuela 89
Guatemala 102, Venezuela 85

If you missed Chavez’s UN speech last month, video lowlights are here.

Update: Ninth round: Guatemala 107, Venezuela 81.

Update: Tenth round: Guatemala 110, Venezuela 77. The vote will continue tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.