On 1 February, the Labour leader tweeted:
The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. @Jeremy_Hunt's call for more sanctions on Venezuela is wrong. We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else.
There needs to be dialogue and a negotiated settlement to overcome the crisis.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) February 1, 2019
A recent poll showed that 78% of Venezuelans oppose international intervention to remove Venezuela’s elected president, and that 84% support the call for dialogue.
Corbyn’s support for “dialogue and a negotiated settlement” is consistent with his longstanding anti-war stance. For many, this is further proof that Labour will no longer support the US – as it did with the disastrous invasion of Iraq – in its imperialist ventures.
His comments are consistent with those of the shadow secretary of state for justice and shadow lord chancellor, Richard Burgon. On 31 January, Burgon told a BBC Question Time audience:
I remember another time when a right-wing out-of-control US president, George Bush, got involved in interfering in another country in relation to oil, and that was in Iraq. And, of course, no one wants to see that kind of thing happen again…
I think what we need is a negotiated outcome.
Richard Burgon:Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world, & the reason Trump wants to get involved is for that purpose.
The Vatican, Mexico, & Uruguay have offered to get involved in peace talks. What we need is a negotiated outcome.pic.twitter.com/REuQU8eVmG
— 🌹#iVoted4Corbyn #GTT0🌹 (@Jezza4_PM) February 1, 2019
Corbyn’s opposition to further US sanctions on Venezuela is also vital, considering they are already economically strangling the country. And that fits in with popular opinion in Venezuela, where 81% of people oppose such sanctions.
As The Canary previously reported, many right-wingers try to use Venezuela’s economic woes to deligitimise socialist politicians in the US and the UK. It’s a typical smear. And it’s a complete fallacy. But such arguments are only likely increase following Corbyn’s latest criticism of US meddling in Venezuela.
With UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt‘s support for the Venezuelan opposition, much of the establishment media will try to draw an imagined line between Corbyn’s support for a “dictator” (i.e. the elected president) and the so-called “democratic” forces trying to oust him undemocratically. Once again, the media will be functioning as an agent for Western imperialism.
The issue at stake here is Venezuelan sovereignty. And not for the first time, Corbyn is on the money.
He must now go one step further and call on the US to end devastating economic sanctions altogether.
Featured image via Rwendland
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