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Montevideo, July 19th 2018 - 12:01 UTC

Corbyn condemns “violence by all sides”, but avoids criticizing Maduro

Tuesday, August 8th 2017 - 08:14 UTC
Full article 30 comments

Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the “violence done by all sides” in the Venezuela conflict but stopped short of criticising president, Nicolas Maduro. Read full article


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  • Clyde15

    The man who would be King and his consort Diane Abbot...God help us.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 08:36 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Islander1

    Just clearly shows the direction he would take the UK, and fancy himself as the new King John and scrap the Magna Carta.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 10:33 am - Link - Report abuse +4
  • Lightning

    Can't admit that he was wrong. Blind ideologue.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 01:09 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Marti Llazo

    Let Hitler have what he wants of Czechoslovakia, said Lord Corbyn. Can't be criticising the good fellow.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 02:00 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    It's disappointing that he can't admit he was wrong. It's one thing to support Chavez's aims, but that shouldn't stop him condemning Maduro's increasingly undemocratic government and authoritarian methods, as I'm sure he would if it was a right wing government doing the same things.

    Not sure what Islander1 means about the Magna Carta though?

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 03:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    What an ignorant prick...

    Chavez's aims were no different to Maduro's....not as if Chavez was a good president and that Maduro ran amuck...Chavez' dictatorial aspirations were already clear, long before he kicked the bucket.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 06:01 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I didn't mean to imply Chavez was any better than Maduro; only difference is that Chavez was a leader and Maduro a follower. I agree Chavez's aspirations were obvious and only cut short by his death, though I had hoped that without him and his personal popularity politics in Venezuela would return to something more normal.

    What I am saying is that Corbyn obviously supports the Chavistas' expressed aim of helping the poor as well as their social programs, but that does not oblige him to support everything else they do, such as incompetent economic policies and undermining democracy. It has become so obvious that they are determined to hang on to power at any cost that no one can sanely deny it.

    I would really like to know what the heck Corbyn is thinking.

    Aug 08th, 2017 - 07:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Clyde15


    Wouldn't we all !!!

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 11:07 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    One has to remember Corbyn and Co are all naive closet communists, something their naive followers are too blind to see in spite of all the evidence.

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 12:43 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    My theory is that Corbyn is one of those people who supports anyone he regards as a victim of the powerful, even if that person is just as bad or even worse than those they oppose. So because Maduro stands up against the elite in Venezuela, and opposes the US, Corbyn supports him, despite the fact Maduro is using the same tactics and hurting the very people he claims to champion.

    Does that seem plausible?

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 02:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Agree that Maduro is a follower. If, as per your theory, Corbyn supports “the Chavistas’ expressed aim of helping the poor, as well as their social programs”, and not the rest, I think he’s somewhat misinformed…..the Chavistas haven’t REALLY helped anyone…who d’you think those protesting in the streets and risking their lives are ? I’d say, the poor….the elite have long left VZ….when in Panama in 2008, I met up with some VZ businessmen, and they confirmed that many had already transferred, or were in the process of transferring, most of their assets and their HQ’s to Panama City…met up with them again, in Panama, end 2012, happy to have left VZ it looks like those who are still in VZ, and getting screwed, are the poor who Corbyn thinks are being helped… his idea that Maduro has a good side, is nuts.

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 03:34 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I guess they did help some people in the short term, before the whole thing collapsed. Regardless, Corbyn (or anyone) can support their aims even if they failed to achieve them, but that's no excuse for supporting THEM.

    I suppose Venezuela has, or had, a middle class, and they are protesting too. But yeah, Maduro must have lost much of his support, except among the party faithful and, apparently, the army.

    I'm just speculating really. Dunno if Corbyn is out of touch with the reality over there or just unwilling to admit he was wrong. Or both.

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 05:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    What's the point of “helping people in the short term”, or , in other words, fooling them just long enough to consolidate your grip on power ???....that the justification given by “petistas' when defending Lula....where is all the ”good” that Lula did, NOW , after it's all collapsed ??
    Corbyn's support , if expressed a a general policy of any government, and not as something that (he believes) effectively happened in VZ, would be laudable...but as it is, it is not.
    Most reasonably well-to-do citizens from the private sector in VZ, who had the means to, got the hell out. The rich flew out, the poor cross the border on foot, carrying their belongings on their backs, into the northern State of Acre.
    Other than the news of violence in VZ, there is no information, reliable at least, regarding who's who in the part of the population that is complaining and the part that is supporting Maduro....but those supporting Maduro, are clearly benefiting in some way - or expect to -
    that the others aren't.

    Aug 09th, 2017 - 06:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    Corbyn, another apologist for crime and thuggery, just like Kamerad/Komrade Rique. Despicable.

    Aug 10th, 2017 - 03:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    imoyaro, when first I read that line I thought it read “Corbyn, another apologist for crime and buggery....”

    Aug 10th, 2017 - 02:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “What's the point of “helping people in the short term””
    Quite possibly it was to consolidate their grip on power. Or for all I know they really wanted to help people but were incompetent, and believed oil prices would always stay high. I can't see that it benefits them to bugger the economy so that suggests a strong degree of incompetence.

    I saw quite a few people in the West supporting Chavez back when he did appear to be helping the poor in Venezuela. Most have now abandoned the Chavistas for good reason, except for Corbyn.

    Presumably the soldiers are getting something out of it if they are still supporting Maduro. Ditto these militias they are forming, thought there are probably some true believers in there too. Maduro tries to blame all Vz's problems on the US, but I doubt too many people believe that any more.

    Aug 10th, 2017 - 03:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Maduro’s history is similar to Lula’s, rising from poverty, without the slightest preparation or notion about governance, and being a savvy politician does not make up for it. There’s a saying here, which freely translated, is “those who’ve never tasted honey, when they do, get all sticky”, which applies to these ignorant leaders, who get to power on the backs of a mostly ignorant population. Another saying, “people get what they deserve” also applies…if when voting, the majority is incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff, and is fooled by false promises - clearly impossible to keep - what can you expect ? If Maduro, or Lula, really had the people’s interests at heart, the outcome would have been totally different. Neither of them ever put the people before themselves. You’re right in saying “when Chavez APPEARED” to be helping the poor, that’s all it was, “appearances”. Before I went to West Africa to work, in the late 70’s, I was told to read Fredrick Forsyth’s book on the Biafran War…very good reading, informative and eye-opening…one thing that disgusted me was the fact that the then British government, which supported the Nigerian federal forces against the newly declared independent State of Biafra, was the fact that the government lied, for 90% of the war, to the British population, either misinforming or omitting the truth about the massacre of 3 million Ibos. When the truth started to leak out, the Brits condemned the government. Same thing here with Chavez, and now Maduro, with the exception that now, with instant communication, they can’t hide their actions or their lies. Those who support Maduro, in any way, are the made of the same crap. True believers are probably very few, in leadership positions, and most under them are just going with the flow, trying to survive and hoping they’ll benefit in some way. It’s always easier to blame some external force to distract internal attention, than to face the truth.

    Aug 10th, 2017 - 06:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “if when voting, the majority is incapable of separating the wheat from the chaff, and is fooled by false promises - clearly impossible to keep - what can you expect”

    Unfortunately this seems to be a problem even in countries with a relatively well educated population. People believe what they want to be true.

    As for the UK government, they have a nasty tendency to support whichever side they think will most benefit the UK, or worse the politicians and their friends, and lie to the people to do it. Compare the WMDs that were never found in Iraq.

    Instant communication doesn't always give people the full picture either. I don't think the media outright lies very often, but the choice of what to report and how much prominence to give it makes a big difference to perception. I didn't know Frederick Forsyth had written any non-fiction books, I only knew of him as a novelist, but I'm not surprised to learn he was a journalist before becoming a writer.

    Aug 10th, 2017 - 10:19 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    So if even where you have relatively well educated people, the politicians seem to be able to manipulate a good portion of them, imagine where the majority are not educated or just plain ignorant ? 99% of politicians, imo, are crooks, and the last thing on their mind is the well-being of the people.
    What I'm saying is that where the people, generally speaking, are less stupid, less ignorant, better informed, or however you want to describe them, the less chance opportunists or dishonest politicians will have of surviving...
    As to the media during the Biafran War, d'you really think it wasn't aware of what was going on ? that its only source of information was the government ? the media isn't above taking sides, many times regardless of the truth, if they see some advantage in it. If what happened back then, were to happen today, don't think they be able to keep it a least not for long.

    Aug 12th, 2017 - 10:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I don't think 99% of politicians are crooks, and although they all have other motivations IMO they generally do care about the well being of their country. This may not be the case in Brazil however.

    I would certainly hope you are right that dishonest politicians have less chance when the population is educated, but what maybe makes a bigger difference is for the country to be progressing and improving. As long as things are going reasonably well people are likely to vote for moderates who will make few changes, but when things are going badly people start thinking that anything would be better than the status quo, and voting for more radical and/or crazy leaders.

    I'm not sure what you're saying about the media. First you seem to be suggesting they could conceal a big secret, then you say they couldn't. I'm sure the media does take sides sometimes, and sometimes that even makes a difference. Other times not so much.

    Aug 13th, 2017 - 12:25 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Well then, that must be the big difference between Latin American and European politicians. But I'll be generous - perhaps only 90% are crooks. In Brazil's congress, 50% definitely are.

    “I would certainly hope you are right that dishonest politicians have less chance when the population is educated,....I would think that is simple logic...the exception being the politician that keeps a low profile, and is not overly 'ambitious'....the problem is that usually, even after being accused/proven guilty, many people still support them, refusing to believe the facts being rubbed in their Lula....people support him because of the 'myth' he helped the poor...'myth', because it didn't last, but it's enough for people to believe that if he gave them the 'bolsa familia', he ”couldn't possibly be a thief”...wierd logic, but then, not uncommon to ignorant people, who aren't known for being inquisitive.
    I agree that when the country is progressing, it's less likely people will question government, or individual actions of politicians ; with sufficient revenue to satisfy the most basic of people's expectations (many times not very high...ex: the 'bolsa familia'), it is easier to disguise malfeasance...that's exactly what happened here...when revenue dropped, and the thievery continued, there was no way to hide it.
    About the media, what I'm saying is they too have their own a certain extent they all act according to their own interests, as long as they feel they can get away with it...only that TODAY, lying about, or trying to downplay the effects of certain events, or even ignoring them, no longer goes unnoticed. Re Nigeria, the government was pretty efficient in controlling the media - not saying there couldn't be leaks, but what credibility would they have if denied point blank by the government ? but today, with all the social networking going on, and millions involved, it's just a matter of time before the truth appears.

    Aug 13th, 2017 - 03:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Marti Llazo

    There is reason to believe that Maduro has initiated an alliance with the Iranian government.

    Aug 13th, 2017 - 09:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Dunno about all of Europe, Italy still has corruption issues and a lot of the former Eastern block countries are even worse. But yeah. We've had crooked politicians but they just don't compare with what's happened in Brazil. Presumably people still go into politics wanting to make a difference, but how many end up only being interested in how much they can steal?

    I think all the European countries have similarly educated populations but some have much worse corruption than others, so that might not be what makes the difference. I presume Italy's problem is the Mafia, but don't know about the others.

    For Lula's supporters, it must be easy to believe, like Terence Hill, that he's being framed by the people who couldn't defeat him in elections, or that since everyone is equally guilty, they may as well vote for the candidate they like.

    I was wondering if the poverty rate has risen back to what it was when Lula took over, and the answer seems to be no. It was 22.4% in 2004 and it's projected to be 10.3% at the end of 2017. The report I found also says a lot of the people falling into poverty as a result of the current recession live in urban areas and in the South East, in contrast to the traditionally poor in rural areas.

    I see what you mean about the press now. Yeah, I guess with social media it's harder for governments to cover things up or spin them as they want. The big problem is that it's harder for us to tell the truth from made up facts, as there is no quality control at all.

    Aug 14th, 2017 - 11:44 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    ”Presumably people still go into politics to make a difference,.....yeah, for themselves ....perhaps less where the system is more transparent / has stricter controls...but it still boils down to the people.
    Looking at the countries where corruption is rampant - excluding Africa, where corruption is a whole different story - I'd say the Latin countries top the list....maybe just a different outlook on life, as to what is right or wrong...if you can get away with it, then it's right....if you're caught, then your accuser is wrong....excluding the executives in Brazil who have confessed their crimes, not one single politician has ...those who cannot reasonably deny them, still try to justify their one comes clean.
    Lula's problem is that being ignorant, but smart, and having been Brazil’s most popular president, his ego does not permit him to fade away as ex-presidents should....he won't let go of the bone, and even if he runs and is defeated in the next elections, he won't go away quietly....
    With 14 million unemployed, and even informal workers being affected, I think it's safe to say that most gains during Lula's 'golden' years have been wiped out.
    I don't have much faith in any politician, but more than corruption - which will always exist here - what concerns me is Lula's Bolivarian project - which is still very much alive within Lula’s inner circle...The PT’s official party stance is to support Maduro's 'democracy'.
    Interesting article…regarding poverty, not sure how that's retreated/ progressed, but I'd risk saying that perhaps it's hit the lower middle class more than the traditionally poor...this because the people you see queuing up for jobs nowadays, are those who in the last decade probably improved their situation (through work) and now are having to let the group being harder hit may have shifted to a different social class. The really poor just carry-on with the 'bolsa família'...

    Aug 14th, 2017 - 06:24 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I'm sure even in Brazil not everyone is in it purely for themselves. They still have to live in the country and most politicians would rather be remembered as a statesman than as a thief.

    Do most people you know in Brazil think corruption is fine as long as you can get away with it? Personally I suspect the very high inequality in Latin American countries makes this worse, same as with other crime.

    I don't understand why most countries in South America only ban presidents from more than two consecutive terms, instead of two terms total like in the US. You don't see their ex-presidents hanging around and trying to influence things in the same way.

    Do you think Lula would be different if he had been able to get a decent education as a child, then, rather than having to work? I hope his reforms have succeeded in ensuring less children grow up like he did, even if things are currently going backwards. If/when the economy eventually picks up again, is there any reason to think things won't improve back to where they were in 2014? 2002 is a long time ago, how noticeable have the changes been to those not directly affected?

    The study I linked to was advocating using the Bolsa Familia as a safety net, as you would prefer, by making sure it's extended to the 'new poor'. But it will cost more if they do, and Temer is trying to save money. Nevertheless, he ought to continue Dilma's policies as far as possible, since that was the platform they were elected on.

    But are you really worried Lula would turn Brazil into Venezuela? The PT were already in power for 14 years and didn't even get close.

    Aug 14th, 2017 - 09:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    You’d be surprised…new corruption investigations appear every day, in hundreds of counties, various State governments, not to mention the Federal Govt, which proves it’s a way of life for most politicians. No matter how small or poor the county, mayors and aldermen all steal…with a few exceptions.
    “most politicians rather be remembered as statesmen than as thieves.”…perhaps in the UK, not here. The measure of success /respectability is how much you have - through legal/ illegal means - not your honor ; Not saying they don’t squirm 'n lie when caught, after all, who doesn’t try to defend their reputation ?
    Yr question “Do most people you know in Brazil think corruption is fine as long as you can get away with it?”….not “my ‘friends’ ” but I’ve encountered quite a few corrupt executives in my work…the market knew who they were, but it didn’t worry them.
    Congess voted for 2 consecutive terms in ‘98, to allow FHC to carry-on his ‘good’ work (‘Plano Real’)...was meant to be revoked during Lula’s 1st term, but the PT, who’d voted against it before, were now in favor ; a 3rd term, even not consecutive, should not be allowed, but political forces in Congress will do whatever suits them. I don’t know if an education would have changed Lula’s perspective on life…may have, but don’t think it’d change his personality. IMO, the economy will eventually return to pre-2013 conditions, but the political crisis (mainly ‘artificial’, as perpetuated by egotistical objectives of opposing forces in Congress), is the main obstacle. ‘Bolsa família’ ‘n other ‘safety net’ programs carry-on…they were at risk in 2013/14, when the money ran out, but not now. Dilma’s irresponsibility is what lead to her downfall…now, austerity is recommended. The PT was still laying the foundation for a Bolivarian State, obviously not intended to be as rotten as VZ’s has become, but Lula's plans were cut short…anyway, have a feeling the military would step in to avoid it getting that far.

    Aug 15th, 2017 - 06:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “The measure of success /respectability is how much you have - through legal/ illegal means - not your honor”

    I don't really understand that mindset, but I suppose when everyone around you is stealing there's not much incentive to act any better.

    I've never encountered corruption personally, but maybe I haven't been in much of a position to. We even had to do anti-corruption training each year at my workplace, which included limits of how much you could spend on gifts and entertainment. I think it was £250 for gifts and more for entertainment in the private sector, but you couldn't give much more than a free Biro to public sector employees. Also all these expenses had to be reported to the appropriate office and permission given in advance.

    As for Lula's views, Dilma was educated but she shares them, so maybe it would have made no difference, but you seemed to think him being ignorant is made him stick around. One might also suppose that politicians who did not grow up poor would see less need to steal, but this certainly does not seem to be the case!

    Two terms seems like a sensible limit to me, but it only works if popular presidents can't persuade the people to give them more. VZ also had such a limit even in the Bolivarian constitution, until Chavez got it changed. Did Lula ever try to get the limit extended?

    The military in VZ did try to step in, but it was back when Chavez was still very popular and they failed. Possibly if they had waited until they had popular support they might have been able to do something.

    Anyway, I certainly hope Brazil's economy starts growing again soon, and with less of the profits being stolen this time. But while Temer is President (or probably anyone else that congress might choose) the social programs are at risk of being whittled down and underfunded, since they are not considered a priority and he only supports them at all because they are popular.

    Aug 16th, 2017 - 12:45 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    I can fully understand your difficulty in accepting that to some people stealing is second nature…but obviously, if everyone around you does it, it takes someone with firm convictions to resist. When I used to deal with exporters whose cargo – light, and high paying – was disputed by several carriers, you only got a share of it if you paid US$ 100/200 per container…in cash, and usually handed over in some discreet location. Several became quite rich, pulling in as much half-a-million per year…and it only worked because everyone higher up was getting their cut.

    I agree that politicians who come from wealthy families are usually no better than those who don’t. The fact that our Congressmen receive a bonus every time they go to a session says it all….imagine being paid extra, just for showing up to work every day ?

    Despite Lula’s ‘bolivarian’ rhetoric, his tactic of throwing the poor against the rich, and his constant criticism of the press, if you followed his life history, you’d notice the most important thing to him has always been money. As a union leader, he would instigate strikes, then secretly negotiate pay offs with the companies, to end them...his priority was always ‘Lula’….and the chip (he still carries) on his shoulder, defines who he is.

    After being elected for the 2nd time, he gave up trying to revoke the '2 consecutive terms' - neither has he defended extending it, as he was content to put Dilma in his place…and as the Constitution makes no mention of the possibility (or not) of a non-consecutive 3rd term, it’s presently allowed.
    I remember the military's failed attempt to oust Chavez, but it didn’t take long for them to realize the advantage in defending him.

    I think the social programs are here to stay, being the election platform of just about every politician…but as the economy improves, and with it, people’s lives, the tendency should be to see them reduced.

    Aug 16th, 2017 - 05:25 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Did you or your colleagues have to give bribes to get business then, as part of your job? That kind of illustrates the problem, because anyone who doesn't join in suffers for it. But did no one ever try going to the police?

    “After being elected for the 2nd time, he gave up trying to revoke the '2 consecutive terms'”

    I should hope so! But it's a good sign that he didn't try to stay in power himself, less good that he chose his own successor rather than his party doing it. It sounds like it's really an oversight the constitution allows more terms if they are non-consecutive. I though all the Latin American countries had more-or-less copied the US system of government, so I don't know why they didn't copy the term limits too.

    If the social programs in Brazil can be reduced in future because less people are in need of them, then I think everyone will be happy. What I would like to see is better education. Now that the BF - hopefully - means children can stay in school instead of having to work, the government needs to improve the standards to make sure they are getting the full benefit.

    In VZ, IMO it was wrong for the military to act when they did, as Chavez was democratically elected and hadn't done anything that directly threatened democracy. It would not be wrong now given what Maduro is doing, but it may be too late. Corbyn, perhaps, still thinks the 'elite' are powerful in VZ, when really Maduro and the Chavistas have taken over that position. They've clamped down on the press, and control the judiciary and the army. It's a pretty common pattern, unfortunately.

    Aug 16th, 2017 - 09:21 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Unfortunately yes...going to the police would make no difference (out of their jurisdiction), and if you tried taking the case to court, what would you accuse the receiver of ? of taking bribes that you agreed to pay ? It would come to nothing, and you, as a professional in the business, and your company, as the carrier, would be blacklisted by every exporter that had worthwhile was a fact of life, a game you had to play.

    Lula didn't need to 'want' a 3rd term, he put Dilma there exactly for that reason - she was his puppet, he still dictated the rules from behind the scenes. Dilma tried flying on her own a couple of times, Lula just clipped her wings...Within the PT, Lula was and IS a 'god“. What he says, goes. The 3rd term was never an issue before the 2nd consecutive term was approved - which was supposed to be an exception, to be revoked after it had fulfilled its purpose - and the non-consecutive 3rd term, became a possibility only recently.
    Lula's nefarious intentions were exposed once again, 2 days ago at a political rally...his words : ”What I can contribute to the advancement of the construction of a 'great (south) America', I will do...We were so close to doing something very important” I said, his plan was cut short - besides being the BS his followers like to hear, it's pretty clear what he meant when you consider his determination to go the 'bolivarian' way.
    There will always be a portion of the population that is unable to fend for itself, and should have the benefit of a safety-net, but when the BF numbers reach 15 million families (in 2013), something has gotten out of control.
    Yr comment on Chavez, and Maduro, is what I've said before - if you can see it coming,
    do you wait until it happens, and then it's probably too late, or do you nip the rose in the bud ?
    Few people give credit to those who raise such issues (before they happen)..they're usually considered crazy, fascists, name it

    Aug 17th, 2017 - 09:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

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