Jeremy Corbyn has abandoned the victims of Venezuelan socialism

 
Brian Monteith
TOPSHOT-VENEZUELA-OPPOSITION-PROTEST
Chavez and Maduro's Bolivarian revolution has shattered the country (Source: Getty)

Imagine a London where the problem of finding or affording food is so bad that food banks would be luxury. Instead you are forced to rake through the rubbish bins for morsels to feed your family.

Imagine a London where elected officials are at risk of kidnapping in the middle of the night for speaking out about the economic and social catastrophe engulfing the city. Imagine a London where the pound in your pocket is losing value at an eye-watering pace – more like Zimbabwe or Weimar Germany.

Imagine the shelves of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi are empty, where shopping at Waitrose would be like dining at the Ritz. Imagine you go to demonstrate peacefully on a march down Whitehall or hear speakers at Trafalgar Square, only to be greeted with teargas and see some of your number beaten up or dragged off never to be seen again.

Read more: Corbyn’s Venezuela silence is a cold betrayal of democracy

What if Labour mayor Sadiq Khan was “disappeared” by Theresa May’s goons, only to be “returned to house arrest” under pressure from international outrage?

If that was London, how would you expect Jeremy Corbyn, not just the leader of the Labour party but a London MP, to react? Surely he would have his clenched fist in the air, striking a Marxist poster pose seeking to mobilise civil resistance?

Would you expect of him – no, demand of him – that he protest in the strongest possible terms about the violent and illegal behaviour of the Metropolitan Police?

Remember, this is the same Jeremy Corbyn who, without any evidence, was ready to condemn the Tories in local and central government for allowing the circumstances that caused the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Words come easy to Corbyn. Surely he could condemn a government that behaved so appallingly in treating its people?

This is also the same Jeremy Corbyn who castigated May via Twitter when she took some time to disagree with President Trump after he introduced his refugee ban. Corbyn tweeted: “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. Tweets too come easy to Corbyn.

But wait. This story is not about London. It is about Caracas and the whole of Venezuela. The perpetrators of brutal ex-judicial murder are not members of the Metropolitan Police, but sinister helmeted cops on motorbikes, targeting and then grabbing ordinary citizens, beating them up and dragging them off to who-knows-what-fate.

It’s not fake news – anyone can look it up on YouTube.

Venezuela is going to hell in a handcart and it is being taken there by its socialist President Nicolas Maduro – one of Corbyn’s “friends”. (Rather like Corbyn previously made “friends” with people in Hamas, Hezbollah, and of course the Provisional IRA.)

This is the latest socialist experiment to go wrong. It’s the latest example of a cause that Corbyn has given his personal support to, only to see it descend into extreme violence, murder, and wholesale abuse of human rights.

As the new year came in January, one US dollar was worth 3,164 bolivars – but as of yesterday it was listed at 13,077 by Dollar Today. Reuters reported in May that the infant mortality rate had increased by 30 per cent, maternal mortality had shot up by 65 per cent, and – thanks to the lack of medicines – the incidence of malaria had jumped by 76 per cent.

The difficulty for Corbyn is that to condemn Maduro is to condemn a socialist experiment he was until recently applauding. Venezuela was the wealthiest Latin American country until the socialists were elected to power under Hugo Chavez, and then, after he died, Maduro.

Their Bolivarian revolution has shattered the country. It may have the largest oil reserves in the world but it is ruined by government debt after squandering its wealth on giveaway social programmes that Corbyn thought inspirational – rather like his idea for cancelling British student debt at a cost of £200bn.

Some Corbyn supporters have sought to defend the Labour leader by saying May’s government sells arms to Saudi Arabia – a completely facetious and false comparison. Labour Prime Ministers have always been complicit in the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to help defend Britain’s supply of Gulf oil and maintain aerospace jobs – from English Electric Lightnings in the sixties, to BAC Tornadoes, and then Typhoons.

More importantly, May has not been advocating Saudi Arabia as a role model – or, as Diane Abbott said of Venezuela, evidence that “there is another way”.

Having been forced into finally making a statement, all Corbyn could do was say that all violence was wrong. He refused to condemn Maduro.

By your words shall ye be known. Everyone needs to know that Corbyn has no words for the latest victims of Marxist socialism.

Read more: Venezuela’s collapse is exposing Labour’s existential crisis

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