Andrew Slaughter, the Labour MP for Hammersmith, was among those who backed the regime in Venezuela.
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign patrons include the Labour MP Diane Abbott. It boasts it has 18 national trade unions affiliated to it (as well, naturally, as those champions of free elections the Communist Party of Britain.)
Their magazine in 2012 included a statement from Andrew Slaughter, then Labour’s Shadow Justice Minister, that a Chavez victory was:
“A great result for the people of Venezuela, progressive politics and the democratic process.”
The independence of the judiciary under the “progressive” arrangement commended by Mr Slaughter is indicated by this report from Amnesty International:
“Judge María Lourdes Afiuni remained under house arrest throughout 2012. In September, unidentified gunmen drove past the building where she lives and opened fire, aiming towards her apartment. In November, she disclosed publicly that she had been raped while in jail. Judge Afiuni was detained in December 2009 and remained imprisoned for over a year. She was charged with offences including corruption, abuse of authority and association to commit a crime. She had ordered the conditional release of a banker who had been held in custody awaiting trial for more than two years, a decision within her remit and in line with Venezuelan law.”
Will Slaughter now renounce his backing for this regime?
It’s kind of depressing that the people of Hammersmith elect as an MP someone who thinks that Venezuela under Chavez and Maduro represents an exemplar of social and economic organisation that the UK should model itself on.