Ken: Venezuela in Chaos as “Chavez Did Not Execute Establishment Elite”

As secret police arrested opposition leaders in the middle of the night, Ken Livingstone backed the collapsing regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, blaming the country’s troubles on an “establishment elite” that previous governments had failed to “execute”. Notorious for his public statements regarding dictatorships of all kinds, Livingstone has regularly endorsed former President Hugo Chavez. He told The Times yesterday:

“Hugo Chávez did not execute the establishment elite, he allowed them to continue so they’re still there. I think there’s a lot of rumours they’ve been blocking the important food and medicines and things like that because they control a lot of the companies… And America has got a long record of undermining any leftwing government as well. So I suspect it’s not all just down to the problems of the [Venezuelan] government.”

Asked whether he supported Maduro’s faltering government, Livingstone replied: “oh God, yes”. The death toll from riots in Venezuela stands at 122; AFP reports this morning that opposition leaders are being rounded up. It’s worth remembering that in 2006 Livingstone signed a £16 million deal with Venezuela to supply oil to fuel public transport in London. He is currently suspended from the Labour Party until April. At least he didn’t mention you know who…

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