South Africa


Ace Magashule to lead Tripartite Alliance’s solidarity visit to Venezuela’s president under siege, Nicolás Maduro

Ace Magashule to lead Tripartite Alliance’s solidarity visit to Venezuela’s president under siege, Nicolás Maduro
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference at the presidential palace of Miraflores, in Caracas, Venezuela, 08 February 2019. Maduro said on Friday to be willing to meet with envoys of the international contact group promoted by some Latin American countries and the European Union (EU) that seeks to create the conditions to call new 'fair' and 'free' elections in the country. EPA-EFE/Cristian Hernandez

The ANC is to send a delegation to Venezuela to offer support to embattled President Nicolás Maduro as he faces a growing tide of domestic and international pressure to resign.

Sources on the ANC’s international relations committee confirmed that ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule as well as senior representatives of the ANC’s alliance partners, the SA Communist Party and Cosatu, would lead a delegation to Venezuela over the next few days.

The aims of the visit would be to learn more about the situation as well as to offer support to Maduro, the source said.

The fact-finding and solidarity visit is intended to provide moral support to Maduro amid the crisis confronting the country and himself.

The US and more than 50 other Western and Latin American countries have recognised Maduro’s main political opponent, Juan Guaido, as the real president of Venezuela after rejecting Maduro’s victory in the 2018 presidential elections as rigged.

The crisis is coming to a head as Venezuelan security forces prevent US humanitarian aid entering the country from neighbouring Columbia. Many analysts fear it could lead to a military clash between the US and Venezuela.

South Africa has also provided moral support to Maduro on the UN Security Council. This week South Africa’s ambassador to the UN, Jerry Matjila, said:

Let the people of Venezuela decide their future. All that we can do is to help them, but the decision remains theirs. We recognise the democratic processes followed by Venezuela in choosing a President, but we also recognise that Venezuela is currently facing humanitarian challenges.

South Africa draws from its experience in overcoming one of the most repressive and insidious racist regimes through dialogue, and believes that internal, inclusive dialogue remains the only viable and sustainable path to ending the political crisis in Venezuela.”

In 2018 South Africa’s ambassador to Venezuela, Joseph Nkosi, offered to provide Venezuela military support to fend off what he believed was a threatened US invasion. He was later forced by the SA government to retract the offer and to apologise for it. DM


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