Jeremy Corbyn has said he is “very sad” at the lives lost on both sides of the unfolding crisis in Venezuela.
Speaking while campaigning, the Labour leader said he was sad about deaths of “either those on the streets or security forces that have been attacked by people on the streets”.
He backed French president Emmanuel Macron’s call for dialogue and added: “There has to be respect for the constitution and respect for the independence of the judiciary.
“What I condemn is the violence done by any side and all sides in this. Violence is not going to solve the issue.”
Pressure has been mounting on Corbyn, who has a longstanding interest in South American politics, to condemn a regime he once had warm words for.
In 2013, before he became Labour leader, Corbyn signed an early day motion congratulating Nicolás Maduro, the Venezuelan president, on winning his election and urging the then-pime minister to invite him to visit. Corbyn also called Maduro to personally congratulate him.
Here are Corbyn’s words on Valenzuela. He is saying the protesters are as bad as Maduro. Extraordinary. pic.twitter.com/xkMeR3SweI
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) August 7, 2017