(Express) Jeremy Corbyn slammed for ‘defending Venezuela dictator’

(Express) MURDERED MP Jo Cox’s widower has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “defending a dictator” over his stance on Venezuela.

Brendan Cox, a former chief strategist at Save the Children, spoke out after the Labour leader opposed “outside interference” in the socialist South American country. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s leadership has left the country in the grip of a social and economic collapse that has triggered a humanitarian crisis and protests. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called for sanctions on the regime as the EU joined the US in recognising its opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president on Thursday.

Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised over his stance on Venezuela (Image: PA)

Mr Cox, whose Labour MP wife was murdered by neo-Nazi killer Thomas Mair in 2016, tweeted yesterday: “The future of Venezuela has been taken out of the hands of Venezuelans by an increasingly corrupt and totalitarian state.

“By all means call for dialogue but if you don’t strongly condemn the subjugation of democracy it sounds like you are defending a dictator.”

Mr Corbyn said in a Friday tweet: “The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans. Jeremy Hunt’s call for more sanctions on Venezuela is wrong. There needs to be dialogue and a negotiated settlement to overcome the crisis.”

Tens of thousands of Mr Guaido’s supporters held rallies across the country yesterday to protest against Mr Maduro as international pressure mounted on him to step down.

Jo Cox

Jo Cox was murdered in 2016 (Image: PA)

Brendan Cox

Jo Cox’s widower Brendan Cox (Image: PA)

Yesterday Maduro caved in to calls for early elections, proposing bringing them forward from 2020 to this year.

Last night it emerged a Venezuelan general had defected from the Maduro regime and claimed 90 per cent of the country’s military had turned against the “dictator”.

General Francisco Yanez, of the air force’s high command, was accused of high treason after he recognised Mr Guaido as interim president in a video circulating on Twitter.

The Maduro regime also organised a rally yesterday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of late leader Hugo Chavez’s inauguration as president.