Ken Livingstone SUPPORTS Venezuela DESPITE 122 deaths in riots – and hints US is to blame

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Ken Livingstone SUPPORTS Venezuela DESPITE 122 deaths in riots – and hints US is to blame

Ken Livingstone SUPPORTS Venezuela DESPITE 122 deaths in riots – and hints US is to blame
KEN Livingstone said he still supports leader Nicolas Maduro despite the fact more than 1200 people have died during riots against the government – and even hinted the US is blame for the unrest.
By Nicole Stinson
PUBLISHED: 00:25, Tue, Aug 1, 2017 | UPDATED: 00:44, Tue, Aug 1, 2017

Ken Livingstone and scenes of the Venezuelan riotsGETTY/EPA
Ken Livingstone has accused the US of meddling and causing the collapse of Venezuela

When asked if he supported president Nicolas Maduro and the nation’s Bolivarian revolution, Mr Livingstone told The Times: “Oh God, yes.”

The former Labour London Mayor also praised the revolutionist Hugo Chavez, who later served as president of Venezuela from 1999 to 2013, as he accused the US of meddling.

Mr Livingstone, who is currently under “administrative suspension” from the Labour Party, said: “America has got a long record of undermining any leftwing government as well. So I suspect it’s not all just down to the problems of the [Venezuelan] government.”

He added: “Hugo Chávez did not execute the establishment elite, he allowed them to continue so they’re still there.

More than 120 people have died since political unrest gripped Venezuela in AprilEPA
More than 120 people have died since political unrest gripped Venezuela in April
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“I think there’s a lot of rumours they’ve been blocking the important food and medicines and things like that because they control a lot of the companies.”

His comments come as Venezuela is embroiled in violent protests after a democracy-threatening Constituent Assembly was voted in on Sunday.

While London Major, Mr Livingstone had struck deal with Venezuela in which it agreed to provide £۱۶million of oil each year to Transport for London in 2006.

The deal was later scrapped by Boris Johnson who declared it a “morally bankrupt approach” to accept resources from one of the poorest nations.
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Opposition demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017
AFP/Getty Images
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Opposition demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017

Opposition demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017
Members of the National Guard are caught up in a blast during protests in Caracas
Members of the National Guard are caught up in a blast during protests in Caracas
Opposition supporters vandalize a government’s truck set on fire during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas
An opposition supporter runs next to a government’s truck set on fire during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas
Opposition demonstrators pour petrol over an alleged thief to set him on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017
Opposition demonstrators pour petrol over an alleged thief during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017

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America has got a long record of undermining any leftwing government

Ken Livingstone

Mr Livingstone’s comments come after Jeremy Corbyn praised the politics of Venezuela as “a cause for celebration” in 2015.

And revealing footage has emerged of the Labour leader – then a backbencher – “saluting” Mr Chavez at a ‘Solidarity with Venezuela’ event in 2013.

President Donald Trump’s administration has denounced the election as a “sham” vote and US officials have revealed that further sanctions may be posed on the nation.

According to the officials, sanctions are being considered for Venezuela’s vital oil sector, which could cripple the Mr Maduro’s cash-strapped government.

Venezuelan president Nicolas MaduroGETTY
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has been accused of trying to create a dictatorship

It follows the President Trump’s threat of “strong and swift economic actions” if Mr Maduro went ahead with the vote.

According to the officials other options still under consideration include various measures to restrict access by the Venezuelan government and state oil company PDVSA to the US banking system.

The US could also target further senior Venezuelan officials with sanctions after it imposed similar measures on 13 figures last week.
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