Jeremy Corbyn condemns violence "on both sides" in Venezuela

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Jeremy Corbyn condemns violence

He added that under Chavez and Maduro "serious attempts at reducing poverty, improving literacy and improving the lives of numerous poorest people" had been made.

The party leader will appear in Crawley in West Sussex as part of his tour of marginal seats this afternoon, and face reporters for the first time since a controversial referendum gave Venezuela's president sweeping new powers.

"All of those lives are awful for the loss of them".

"What I condemn is the violence that's been done by any side, by all sides, in all this", Corbyn said, stopping short of pointing the finger of blame at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or the opposition for the months-long chaos in the South American country.

He called for "a dialogue and a process that respects the independence of the judiciary and respects the human rights of all" to resolve the current crisis.

"He told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour: "One of the worries that people may have is 'do we believe in parliamentary government or not?'" I think how he responds on this is crucial and I think what's going on in Venezuela is desperate".

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field suggested the Labour leader's comments did not befit a politician who aspires to be British prime minister.

Maduro has faced worldwide condemnation for his efforts to assume almost unlimited powers and the apparent detention of leading Venezuelan opposition figures.

The Labour leader denounced "violence that's been done by any side, by all sides, in all this" and said brutality would not solve the issues facing Venezuela.

The impoverished but oil-rich nation plunged into chaos in April after the country's Supreme Court made a decision to annul the powers of the opposition-controlled parliament. The decision was later revoked, but the protests have only continued. Maduro convened a Constitutional Assembly, a legislative body that has the powers to rewrite constitution, in order to bring peace back to the country.

Te country descended into chaos after a disputed vote which gave Mr Maduro's ruling socialist party nearly unlimited powers.

Officials have been accused of tampering with the election software, opposition leaders have been arrested and the resulting unrest has seen dozens killed. The opposition has protested against the Constituent Assembly, and the worldwide community has mostly criticized it as well.

The United States also imposed sanctions against 13 current and former Venezuelan officials after doing the same to the country's vice president in February.

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