||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2011)|
|President of the United Nations Security Council|
1 March 1992 – 31 March 1992
|Permanent Representative of Venezuela in the United Nations|
11 March 1991 – August 1993
|President||Carlos Andrés Pérez|
|Succeeded by||Adolfo Raul Taylhardat|
|Minister of Information and Tourism|
February 1977 – 17 March 1978
|President||Carlos Andrés Pérez|
|Succeeded by||Celestino Armas|
|Governor of Caracas, Capital District|
15 March 1974 – February 1977
|President||Carlos Andrés Pérez|
|Preceded by||Guillermo Alvarez Bajarez|
|Succeeded by||Manuel Montilla Caceres|
|President of the Corporación Nacional de Hotelería y Turismo (CONAHOTU)|
12 March 1969 – 2 February 1974
8 October 1938 |
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Diego Enrique Arria Salicetti (born 8 October 1938 - Caracas, Venezuela), doctor of economics, is a Venezuelan politician, diplomat, former Venezuelan Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations (1991–1993) and President of the Security Council (March 1992). He was Governor of the Federal District of Caracas in the mid-1970s. Other positions have included Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. He was said to be one of the "twelve apostles" (a group of powerful men close to the Presidency) of Carlos Andrés Pérez' first presidency. He has filed charges for crimes against humanity against Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Arria was schooled partly in Caracas and partly at the Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance, Virginia. He obtained a degree in economic and political science from the University of Michigan. Arria then studied at the London School of Economics, and worked for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. until he returned to Venezuela in 1969, initially as Director of Tourism in Rafael Caldera's Ministry of Development, and later as president of the CONAHOTU (National Corporation of Hotels and Tourism).
Arria resigned as head of CONAHOTU in order to support the presidential candidacy of Carlos Andrés Pérez (CAP) in 1973. Shortly after CAP was elected in March 1974, he appointed Arria Governor of the Federal District (Caracas), at a time when this was one of the most important presidential appointments. In 1976 when he was Governor of the Federal District he went to Chile and asked President Pinochet to release his friend Orlando Letelier; which Pinochet did, but soon after this Letelier was murdered with a car bomb in Washington D.C by Pinochet's order. He subsequently moved from the governorship to become Minister of Information and Tourism in February 1977. He resigned on 17 March 1978, in order to stand as an independent candidate in the Venezuelan presidential election, 1978; he came fourth with 1.7% of the votes. As part of his campaign Arria initiated the launch of the daily newspaper El Diario de Caracas.
In 2012 Arria was a candidate for the presidential nomination of the Coalition for Democratic Unity for the Venezuelan presidential election, 2012. Primary elections were held on February 12, 2012, with Henrique Capriles Radonski winning the nomination.
Arria was Venezuelan Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations from 1991 to 1993, and was President of the Security Council (March 1992), during Venezuela's membership of the Security Council. Arria later became Special Advisor to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the UN, He initiated the eponymous 'Arria formula' a very informal consultation process which affords members of the Security Council the opportunity to hear persons in a confidential, informal setting. These meetings are presided over by a member of the Council as service facilitator for the discussion and not by the President of the Council. He was chairman during the massacres at Srebrenica. After visiting the enclave he warned of its impending doom and predicted the massacres saying it was "slow motion Genocide" and the besieged enclave itself as "a concentration camp policed by UNPROFOR".
Other positions have included Diplomatic Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute of the Americas and of Freedom Now, and of the Board of Advisors of Inter-American Dialogue. He has been a Director at The Columbus Group, and is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board at Athelera LLC as well as a Member of the Board of Advisors at VMS Associates, LLC.
On April 30, 2010, Arria's ranch "La Carolina" in Yaracuy State was taken over by the Venezuelan government. Minister of Agriculture Elias Jaua "declared that lawyers and historians working for the National Lands Institute (INTI) ha[d] not been able to find continuity of ownership deeds in the national register and therefore the lands are "fallow" and return to the State". According to government officials the ranch was unproductive and was a case of idle lands; according to Arria, the farm had 300 cattle and 90% of it was under some form of agricultural development. When becoming aware of the expropriation threat Dr. Arria took photos of the farm and the cattle and posted them on the Internet, including the one used to illustrate this paragraph. Correo del Orinoco, a state-owned newspaper, reporting their claims that Arria's declarations about expropriation and loot by the Ministry of Agriculture are "subversive and tend to urge the homicide of Hugo Chavez". According to Arria, the expropriation was a reaction to Arria's participation in the Oslo Freedom Forum, where he stated that Chavez will have to face International Justice one day for his "crimes" against the Venezuelan people.
- Latin America political report, Volume 12, Latin American Newsletters Ltd., 1978, p89
- Latin America 1974, Facts on File, p164
- Howard Rae Penniman (1980), Venezuela at the polls: the National elections of 1978, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, p159
- David J. Myers, Henry A. Dietz (2002), Capital city politics in Latin America: democratization and empowerment, Lynne Rienner Publishers, p113
- el-nacional.com, Diego Arria, accessed 20 May 2012
- Hollis Micheal Tarver Denova and Julia C. Frederick, The history of Venezuela, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005. p134
- (Spanish) noticias24.com, 11 February 2012, Perfil de Diego Arria: Un hombre con amplia experiencia y una propuesta radical
- Judith Ewell (1984), Venezuela: A Century of Change, C. Hurst & Co, p178
- "the tasks given to federal district governors between 1945 and the 1970s, and the kinds of individuals appointed to this office, suggest that a president viewed naming the federal district governor to be one of his three or four most important appointments." - Steve Ellner, David J. Myers, "Caracas: incomplete Empowerment amid Geographical Feudalism", p103, in David J. Myers, Henry A. Dietz (2002), Capital city politics in Latin America: democratization and empowerment, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002
- adolfotaylhardat.net, Adolfo Raul Taylhardat - Curriculum Vitae
- United Nations, Presidents of the Security Council : 1990-1999
- The Biggest Cover-Up in UN History - International Justice - Global Policy Forum
- Institute of the Americas, Board of Directors, accessed 20 May 2012
- Freedom Now, Board of Advisors, accessed 20 May 2012
- Inter-American Dialogue, Board of Advisors, accessed 20 May 2012]
- BusinessWeek.com, Diego E. Arria, accessed 20 May 2012
- Vheadline.com, 13 May 2010, It's final: Arria farm declared social property after failure to trace title deeds
- (Spanish) El Universal, 2 May 2010, Prohíben a propietarios ingresar a finca La Carolina
- (Spanish) Correo del Orinoco, 10 May 2010, Declaraciones de Diego Arria son subversivas e instan al magnicidio
- (Spanish), elnuevodiario.com.do, 11 May 2010, "Ex embajador de Venezuela dice Chávez le quitó finca por venganza política"