Ken Livingstone has given his backing to beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and accused the US of trying to “undermine” the South American country.
The former Mayor of London re-iterated his support for Mr Maduro despite who has been widely criticised in his homeland for an economic crisis and an election which was widely boycotted by his opponents.
Mr Livingstone, who is currently suspended from active involvement in the Labour Party over comments relating to Jews and Hitler, blamed the South American country's “establishment elite” for Venezuela’s problems.
“Hugo Chávez did not execute the establishment elite, he allowed them to continue so they’re still there”, he told The Times. “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.
He added: “America has got a long record of undermining any left-wing government as well. So I suspect it’s not all just down to the problems of the [Venezuelan] government.”
Asked whether he continued to support Mr Maduro, he replied: “Oh God, yes.”