South Africa continues to recognize the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela despite the leader of the opposition-led National Assembly declaring himself interim President with the backing of several regional countries.
Juan Guaido has received the support of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and several regional countries including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina among others.
Ambassador Jerry Matjila, who leads South Africa on the United Nations Security Council, says Washington’s top diplomat has requested a meeting.
“We’re informed. We’re consulting. There is an idea that we should have a council meeting on Saturday morning because Mike Pompeo might want to come address the Security Council around 9am in the morning on Saturday to discuss the issue in Venezuela. But as you know, since a minute ago, South Africa’s position hasn’t changed. We still recognize the Government of President Maduro as the legitimate government of Venezuela, so that has not changed from the South African position. As to whether Venezuela threatens peace and security, we’ll listen to what Mike Pompeo might have to say.”
The United States mission to the UN has indicated that at this time it had made no such request to address the Council. Ambassador Matjila was pressed on whether South Africa viewed the actions of the United States as a threat to international peace and security by ignoring the expulsion of their diplomats from Venezuela by the Maduro government.
“That we’ll discuss on Saturday. We’ll look at all these views with other colleagues from different regions and see how we manage them. I think it’s a matter that needs to be dealt with very delicately. We’ve always said lets encourage parties to sit together to work out some mechanism, let’s encourage Venezuelans to sit together and discuss among themselves to see what we can do and I think that is our position.”