Ken Livingstone and Keith Flett respond to a recent Guardian piece about the current troubles in Venezuela

I’m very disappointed at the reporting of my comments regarding the situation in Venezuela (Report, 4 August). I have not said that Hugo Chávez should have killed anyone and nor would I ever advocate it. I even dispelled this accusation in the very interview that is being extensively quoted. The point I was making is that, contrary to some misrepresentations, Hugo Chávez didn’t repress the former ruling elite in Venezuela and many of this former elite have stayed in the country, seeking to overthrow elected presidents through unconstitutional and violent means (including the coup in 2002) ever since.
Ken Livingstone

• Notwithstanding what is clearly a very difficult moment in Venezuela, it is noticeable that any country in the orbit of the US that tries to move towards a more equal society seems to end up in a destabilised mess. I wonder if there is something a little more than coincidence at work here. Historically speaking, that has certainly been the case from Cuba in the 1950s to Chile in the 1970s and beyond.
Keith Flett

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