Boris Johnson Expresses Disappointment on Venezuelan elections

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has expelled disappointment following the announcement of the Venezuelan election results. Nicolás Maduro, the President, was re-elected amidst allegations of electoral fraud. Sanctions are expected to be announced against Venezuela by several countries in response to the results.

Johnson said in a statement:

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Maduro pressed ahead with deeply flawed elections to secure his own survival. They were neither free nor fair, and have further eroded Venezuelan democracy. There is an urgent need to restore democratic order, release political prisoners, and respect the National Assembly and political opposition.

The condemnation of the international community is loud and clear. We shall work closely with our EU and regional partners in the coming weeks to determine how we can continue to support a political resolution.

I remain deeply concerned by the man-made humanitarian and economic crisis, which is growing worse by the day. I urge the Venezuelan government to take immediate action, and let the international community deliver essential food and medicines. The suffering of ordinary Venezuelan people cannot be allowed to continue”.

British Government Criticises Political System in Venezuela

Alan Duncan, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has criticised the on-going political situation in Venezuela. Opposition leaders in the country have questioned the damage being done to the democratic system, with extra powers being given to the Constituent Assembly.

Duncan said in a statement:

“I am utterly appalled by the decision of the sham-democratic Constituent Assembly in Venezuela to remove legislative powers from the elected National Assembly. This is a shocking blow to democracy in Venezuela, and a direct attack on a legitimate democratic institution. It ignores the will of the Venezuelan people and will only further undermine confidence in Venezuela’s democracy. The National Assembly and its Deputies must be respected and their rights honoured.

Poverty in Venezuela continues to rise, with more Venezuelans being forced into poverty every day by bad governance. This is a tragedy in a country with such enormous resources. This move will do nothing to tackle the urgent economic challenges that ordinary Venezuelans face

It is time for President Maduro and the Venezuelan Government to act responsibly. They need to reduce tension, respect democracy, and take responsibility for working with the Opposition to agree a positive way forward for all Venezuelans. The UK stands with the people of Venezuela and will work with international partners in our collective response to the gravity of this situation”.

Jeremy Corbyn Refuses to Condemn Venezuelan Leader

Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has been criticised for failing to condemn the Venezuelan leadership after recent violence. Corbyn, who had previously supported the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro said that he was “very sad” at the violence.

Corbyn said at a Labour Party meeting:

“I’m very sad at the lives that have been lost in Venezuela. The people who have died, either those on the streets or security forces that have been attacked by people on the street – all of those lives are terrible for the loss of them”.

Graham Jones, the Labour MP for Hyndburn, said:

“Mr Maduro and his predecessor Mr Chavez have destroyed an economy despite being oil rich, abused human rights and replaced democracy with authoritarianism backed by military might”.

Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead, urged Corbyn to condemn the leadership, saying:

“I think how he responds on this is crucial. And I think what’s going on in Venezuela is desperate”.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, last week said that the Venezuelan leadership was “acting like the dictator of an evil regime”.

Labour’s Chris Williamson Condemns Sanctions on Venezuela

Chris Williamson, the Labour MP for Derby North and Shadow Home Office Minister, has condemned the United States sanctions which have been imposed on Venezuela. He added that the United States “had a shady record, going back many decades, of interfering in Latin America”.

Williamson said on BBC’s Newsnight:

“Surely it would be far better to try and bring the sides together, to facilitate talks and to encourage the right wing opposition to stop these protests on the streets”.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, had warned about the situation in the country last week.

Foreign Secretary Issues Statement on Violence in Venezuela

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, has issued a statement following continued violence in Venezuela. Protests have been on-going in the country ahead of elections on 30 July 2017.

Johnson said:

“I am deeply saddened that nearly 100 people have died in protests in Venezuela since the end of March. The citizens of Venezuela deserve better and urgent action should be taken to stop matters from getting worse.

The UK calls on the Venezuelan Government to refrain from divisive and inflammatory action, including the plan to form a Constituent Assembly later this month. This will only further undermine confidence in the country’s democracy. Human rights, the rule of law, the separation of powers and the integrity of democratic institutions must be respected.

The UK joins with the Vatican, the neighbours of Venezuela and our European friends to urge the Government to enter constructive talks with the Opposition. I call on President Nicolas Maduro to change course and break the deadlock for the benefit of all Venezuelans”.