Labour MP insists Venezuela isn't a socialist country

Graham Jones said Venezuela was not socialist - despite Jeremy Corbyn's previous praise of the country

Jeremy Corbyn seen with former Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez (twitter)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Julia had a fiesty debate on Venezuela this morning with Labour MP Graham Jones, who said the country isn't socialist - contradicting several speeches by his leader Jeremy Corbyn on the matter.

Earlier reports had suggested that Jones, who chairs a new all-party Parliamentary group on Venezuela, had called on Corbyn, a long-standing admirer of Venezuela, to publicly condemn Maduro for the chaos in the Latin American country.

However the Hyndburn MP backtracked on these comments this morning, saying "I didn't urge Jeremy [to condemn the regime]. That was the headline carried away.

"There's been a condemnation from the Labour party and a spokesman for the leader's office agreed and signed off on those comments."

Corbyn has previously made several speeches on Venezuela, saying that the country "is a cause for celebration" and that Maduro's predecessor, Hugo Chavez, “showed us that there is a different and a better way of doing things."

However Jones said this morning that Venezuela's ruling party "are not affiliated to international socialism and they are an authoritarian regime. They’re not socialists.

“They’re not affiliated to international socialism at all, and to describe them as socialists when they’re not affiliated to any such organisation in the world is stretching it."

Julia strongly disagreed with this remark, and offered even stronger condemnation when Jones attempted to steer the conversation towards Venezuela's narcotics trade.

Our presenter said: "I don’t think a conversation about a failed South American state should be concentrated on, yet again, the needs of well-off people in Britain stupid enough to take illegal drugs.

"I think that’s absurd, I’m worried about the millions of people living in a failed state because of an authoritarian regime.

"I’ve got more concern for the people of Venezuela who can’t buy food for their children, live in hyper-inflation, and fear for their lives."

Listen above.