UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A South African envoy said Tuesday "Let the people of Venezuela decide their future."
Speaking at a Security Council meeting on Venezuela, Jerry Matjila, Permanent representative of South Africa to the UN, said, "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."
"We, on the African continent, have suffered a great deal as external forces used undemocratic tools of regime change to solve problems on the continent," the South African diplomat said, adding that "we are strongly opposed to this way of solving any problem."
This approach, he said, "takes away the basic rights of the people of the country to determine their own future."
"Let the people of Venezuela decide their future. All that we can do is to help them, but the decision remains theirs," he said.
Political dialogue should seem obvious and the first logical port of call, yet actions of some in the international community have not been conducive and encouraging to this approach, Matjila said.
"Isolating and vilifying one party, and calling for a specific prescribed course of action, will only foment possible recourse to armed conflict," he said.
"Forcing the parties to accept a prescript to resolving their own crisis, including through ultimatums, will only encourage further antagonism and division," the South African diplomat said.
"We believe that humanitarian aid should not be used for the political ends of parties to the crisis, but should be delivered through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to ensure its neutrality and impartiality," he said.