Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a longstanding supporter of Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist Government. As Venezuela descends into impoverishment and tyranny this is an embarrassing fact, but a fact none the less. At The Backbencher we’ve decided it’s time left-wing politicians are held to account for the regimes they support. So we’ve launched a petition calling on Jeremy Corbyn to publically apologise to the Venezuelan people, and demand the release of Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma – two opposition leaders who were recently arrested in the middle of the night.
The petition can be signed here, and its full text read below:
“Socialist Venezuela is teetering on the edge of both total economic collapse and outright dictatorship. The economy has contracted by a third since 2014, and is projected to shrink by another 12% this year. Inflation stands at over 700% and basic shortages are common.
Meanwhile the Government has arrested two key opposition leaders, and at least 125 people taking part in street protests have been killed since early April.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is a longstanding supporter of Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist regime, under both President Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez. In 2014 Corbyn offered his ‘congratulations’ to Maduro on Venezuelan state TV and in June 2015 stated the Venezuelan regime’s record was ‘a cause for celebration’. Previously he welcomed Hugo Chavez to the UK and gave him a generous tribute following his death in 2013.
Considering the widespread economic suffering and political persecution taking place Corbyn should formally apologise to the people of Venezuela for his historic support of Maduro and Hugo Chavez, and demand the immediate release of imprisoned opposition leaders”.