The Venezuelan crisis has again raised a choice for SA’s diplomats and they have, once again, fluffed it. The content of our diplomacy is often criticised for the fact that it favours global polecats, support for failing leftist governments, and that policies are bizarrely rooted in issues topical during colonial times 50 years ago. It is bizarrely fixated in the political proclivities of the ANC in exile, in which everything the US does is bad, and everything Cuba does is good. Venezuela is a good example, except that now the world has moved on. The US has a truly disturbing history of regime change interventions in Latin America, as everybody knows. It is tempting to consider the Venezuela crisis in similar terms. International relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu either inadvertently or deliberately referred to this history by saying, prior to a UN Security Council meeting on the topic, that SA will not support “regime change” in any country.

The term “regime change” is someth...

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