Sadc condemns interference, intervention in Venezuela

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) issued a statement, chiding the United States of America, its allies and other nations to stop interfering in Venezuela’s sovereignty and self-determination.

Sadc chairperson and Namibian President Hage Geingob told countries that sought to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs by seeking to undermine its democratically elected government to realise that they were breaking international law.

Sadc member-States include Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In the statement issued Sunday, President Geingob said the regional bloc, noted “with concern the attempts by the leaders of some countries to interfere in the affairs and sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

“In particular, these countries have sought to undermine a democratically elected government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led by president Nicolas Maduro Moros by proclaiming Juan Guaido Marquez as interim-president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” the statement said.

He added, “Sadc condemns such violations of the principles of international law, especially, the respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.”

The Sadc chairperson noted that the people of Venezuela had expressed their political choices through parliamentary elections and presidential elections held in December 2015 and May 2018, respectively and “urges the international community and all stakeholders to respect the outcomes of these elections.”

Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza, recently accused US President Donald Trump of having a hand in the state coup by Guaido.

“Donald Trump confirms that he leads the state coup as he threatens to use military force again in violation of the UN Charter. The Venezuelan opposition is controlled by Trump”, Arreaza posted on his Twitter handle. On January 23, Guaido, the speaker of the Venezuelan opposition-led National Assembly, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president. He has been supported by the US and a number of other countries, while China, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Iran and several other states backed constitutionally elected President Maduro. —The Herald Zimbabwe/News agencies.