Trump's secretary of state slams Jeremy Corbyn's support for Nicolás Maduro as 'disgusting'

Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty ImagesUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a joint press conference with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Wednesday in London.
  • Jeremy Corbyn’s support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is “disgusting,” according to one of President Donald Trump’s most senior officials.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday criticised politicians who had spoken up for Maduro amid an economic crisis in Venezuela that has left millions without access to basic necessities.
  • A representative for Corbyn reiterated that the Labour leader and his party “oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else.”
  • The US, the UK and the European Union believe that Maduro is not a legitimate leader of Venezuela.
  • Pompeo was in London to visit Prime Minister Theresa May and UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

LONDON – Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has attacked the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn over what Pompeo called Corbyn’s “disgusting” support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Speaking during a visit to Westminster on Wednesday, Pompeo, one of the most senior Trump administration officials, said it was “disgusting to see leaders in not only the United Kingdom but in the United States as well who continue to support the murderous dictator Maduro.”

He added that “no leader in a country with Western democratic values ought to stand behind” Maduro.

Corbyn has previously expressed support for Venezuela’s left-wing governments and criticised US moves against leaders of the South American country.

In February, he came out against foreign interference in the country and criticised US sanctions.

“We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else,” Corbyn said.

His representative doubled down on these remarks Wednesday, saying: “We oppose outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else. The future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans.”

Jeremy HuntChris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, speaking at a press conference alongside Pompeo, said Brits should “draw their own conclusions” about Corbyn’s views on the Venezuelan government.

An economic crisis in Venezuela has left many of its people without access to basic essentials and prompted millions to leave the country.

Hunt added that 3 million people had fled Venezuela, “GDP has gone down by 40% in the last four years, people can’t access basic medicine, people are rifling through rubbish bags to get food in the streets.”

Maduro last week overcame an attempted coup by the opposition politician Juan Guaidó, who is recognised by the UK, the US, and the European Union as the interim president of Venezuela.

Corbyn has refused to attend a state banquet with President Donald Trump scheduled for next month in the UK.

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