Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to condemn the authoritarianism of Nicolas Maduro is a missed opportunity for Labour to stand up for human rights, writes Jean Grugel

Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to condemn the authoritarianism of Nicolas Maduro and the violence being inflicted on Venezuelans by the state (Report, 8 August) is a missed opportunity for Labour to stand up for human rights. The current crisis in Venezuela is not to do with anti-neoliberal or anti-austerity politics. It stems from a desire to hold on to power at all costs and a lack of respect for the democratic rights of citizens who think differently from the government. I write as a scholar of Latin American politics, a longstanding critic of neoliberalism and its consequences for the region, and someone generally supportive of the Latin American left’s attempts to pioneer new forms of social and political inclusion. And as a member of the Labour party. I call on other Latin Americanists and Labour party members to clearly condemn Maduro’s violence and repression.
Jean Grugel
Professor of development politics, University of York

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