The actions of Venezuela’s socialist president are condemned by Dr Richard Harrold, while Dr Kevin Bannon defends Nicolás Maduro’s right to rule. Plus letters from Peter McKenna, Declan O’Neill, Sasha Simic, Dr Jairo Lugo-Ocando and Steve Ballard

Ken Livingstone (Letters, 5 August) is spreading misinformation about Venezuela – a country I came to love and then mourn in my years living there. I am the proud husband of a Venezuelan and have watched my extended family suffer hardship and worse as the country has been plunged into turmoil by Maduro’s inept and corrupt regime. It is important to note that Maduro’s government is partly enabled by support from ignorant overseas voices.

Livingstone appears to dismiss the accurate observations that opposition leaders had been arrested by the Maduro government as propaganda. On the contrary, the arrests of Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma and now the dismissal of Luisa Ortega from the national assembly, are verifiable facts that demonstrate all too clearly the intention of the Maduro regime to admit no criticism or opposition at all. The government of Venezuela is far from the benign force for social good that Livingstone bizarrely insists it is. We are witnessing a cynical power grab by a corrupt and ruthless cartel. To call it otherwise is to betray democracy and justice.
Dr Richard Harrold
Leiden, Netherlands

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