This is the extraordinary moment Jeremy Corbyn’s top aide Seumas Milne was ushered into the Venezuelan Presidential Palace and embraced by the country’s tyrant Nicolas Maduro. Milne travelled to Venezuela in 2014 to record a Guardian interview with the socialist leader who was last night branded a “dictator” by Western governments. Introducing the film, Milne dismisses protesters who were then trying to overthrow the Maduro regime as “overwhelmingly middle class… the government maintains support in working class and poorer areas”. In a comically softball exchange, Milne offers Maduro a platform to peddle conspiracy theories about US intervention in the region, asking him:
“US leaders have said that you and Venezuela use them as a pretext or an excuse for your own failings. What’s your evidence for United States interference in the country and what do you think their aim is?”
He then sets up another question for Maduro to knock down:
“The United States has talked about Venezuela criminalising dissent?”
Later in the film Milne pays homage at the grave of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and interviews a pro-Maduro agitator. The love-in concludes with Milne asking the besieged leader to talk about his favourite pop music. A fawning homage to a man the international community considers a pariah.
Don’t expect Corbyn or his right-hand man to condemn him any time soon…