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Corbyn hailed the 'achievements' of Venezuelan despot

Jeremy Corbyn hailed the hard-left Venezuelan regime as a 'cause for celebration' just two years ago - even as the country's economy went into freefall.

The Labour leader heaped praise on the 'achievements' of former President Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro - who is now accused of conducting illegal elections to turn the country into a dictatorship.

Despite repeatedly praising the 'socialist utopia' in Venezuela for years, Mr Corbyn has yet to condemn the spiralling situation.

Aides said he is on holiday. However, his twitter feed has managed to congratulate the England women's football team on their performance at the Euro championship.

Asked by MailOnline today, a spokeswoman for Mr Corbyn said he was 'watching the situation and developments closely'.  

President Nicolas Maduro (pictured) stands accused of trying to turn the country into an effective dictatorship as the economy disintegrates

President Nicolas Maduro (pictured) stands accused of trying to turn the country into an effective dictatorship as the economy disintegrates

Violence swept the country on Sunday as Maduro, 54, defied international condemnation to hold elections for a powerful new 'Constituent Assembly'. This was the scene as police clashed with protesters in Caracas yesterday

Violence swept the country on Sunday as Maduro, 54, defied international condemnation to hold elections for a powerful new 'Constituent Assembly'. This was the scene as police clashed with protesters in Caracas yesterday

As Venezeula plunges further into chaos, Mr Corbyn's Twitter feed hailed a series of other issues including the success of the England women's football team. Aides said the Labour leader is currently on holiday

As Venezeula plunges further into chaos, Mr Corbyn's Twitter feed hailed a series of other issues including the success of the England women's football team. Aides said the Labour leader is currently on holiday

Mr Corbyn has also found time to issue quotes condemning the owner of Arsenal football club, Stan Kroenke, for launching a subscription hunting channel.

Last year Mr Corbyn deleted a string of online articles he had written hailing the socialist government of Venezuela.

At a 'solidarity with Venezuela' event in June 2015, when inflation in the state was already estimated to be running at 100 per cent and the economy was shrinking rapidly, the veteran left-winger said: 'When we celebrate, and it is a cause for celebration, the achievements of Venezuela, in jobs, in housing, in health, in education, but above all its role in the whole world as a completely different place, then we do that because we recognise what they have achieved.'

He blamed American meddling for damaging the country's prospects, saying 'corporations' were too influential. 

Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell were among the MPs who signed a House of Commons motion paying tribute to Chavez after his death in 2013. The motion lamented the loss of 'spoke for the poorest and most oppressed'.

A spokeswoman for the Labour leader: 'The Labour Party's statement on Monday made clear our position on the importance of the respect for the rule of law and human rights. We're watching the situation and developments in Venezuela closely.' 

Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke told MailOnline: 'Jeremy Corbyn is condemned by

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