Last statement on the Labour press website relating to the country was in 2014
The world’s eyes are focused on Venezuela as the South American state faces social unrest and violence. The embattled country’s capital, Caracas, is now the host for fiery street battles between anti-government activists and riot police.
The demonstrators are furious with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who plans to change Venezuela’s constitution to create a new assembly so that his power, according to the opposition, is enhanced.
Almost 100 people have been killed in the violence, with a 48-hour-long general strike ongoing and the US ordering its diplomats out the country.
The government is hoping to quell the unrest with a protest ban. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson yesterday issued a statement on the crisis, calling for Maduro to stop his alleged power grab.
“The UK calls on the Venezuelan Government to refrain from divisive and inflammatory action, including the plan to form a Constituent Assembly later this month,” he said.
“This will only further undermine confidence in the country’s democracy. Human rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers and the integrity of democratic institutions must be respected.
“The UK joins with the Vatican, the neighbours of Venezuela and our European friends to urge the government to enter constructive talks with the opposition. I call on President Nicolas Maduro to change course and break the deadlock for the benefit of all Venezuelans.”
But Labour, the official opposition party, and Jeremy Corbyn have not spoken out against Maduro. The latest statement on the Labour Press website mentioning Venezuela was published in 2014,according to Google’s advance search system.
Ed Miliband attacked David Cameron’s Conservatives for comparing one of his housing pledges to the policies of the socialist state. Corbyn, a supporter of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, last mentioned the country in March 2013 on Twitter when Chavez passed away.
“Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared,” he said. “He made massive contributions to Venezuela and a very wide world.”
IBTimes UK approached Corbyn’s office for a statement on the crisis in Venezuela, who then directed us to Labour’s press office in a bid to gather a comment from Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry.
Labour had not responded to that request for comment at the time of reporting. But it should be noted that parliament is on its summer recess, with MPs away from the House of Commons.