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How Labour's Diane Abbott praised Venezuela's socialist regime in THIS gushing ...

The shadow home secretary, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, lauded Hugo Chavez's hard-left government in an open letter written in 2007.

She claimed its "sweeping social, political and economic agenda" had boosted the lives of "millions" in the South American country.

Ms Abbott's comments, made while she was a backbencher, have been uncovered as Venezuela teeters on the brink of economic catastrophe.

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As a result of Chavez's policies – which have continued under his successor Nicolas Maduro – the socialist state is now in deep financial ruin.

The value of its largest banknote has plunged to just 2p, while inflation for staple foods such as chicken has soared to around 700 per cent.

Human rights groups have also condemned Maduro's increasingly authoritarian regime for its a harsh crackdown on anti-government protestors.

Diane AbbottGETTYDiane Abbott lauded Hugo Chavez's hard-left policies in an open letter written in 2007

Tue, July 11, 2017 Venezuela's political crisis intensified when the Supreme Court issued rulings curbing the powers of the opposition-controlled legislature. The court reversed the rulings, but the opposition intensified its protests from that moment
Opposition demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017

AFP/Getty Images

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Opposition demonstrators set an alleged thief on fire during a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on May 20, 2017

Diane AbbottGETTYThe Labour MP wrote in support of his 'sweeping social, political and economic agenda'

The pro-Chavez open letter was co-signed by other high-profile Labour politicians, including Tony Benn and

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