Organisation that defends Venezuelan regime is closely linked to UK trade union Unite | UK | News

Unite, an influential union has been linked to The Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign. 

The Venezuelan group publicly supports the recent elections in the country, despite the international community blasting them for being rigged.

A spokesperson for The Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign warned that “Britain and other governments should be respecting the democratic decisions of the Venezuelan people.”

But an investigation by The Times newspaper has revealed that it shares the same north London address as Unite.

And it also asks for cheques to be sent to that address “care of Unite.”

Following the election on June 30, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro faced international condemnation for his efforts to assume nearly unlimited powers and the apparent detention of leading Venezuelan opposition figures.

Several opposition activists have been jailed in recent days, others are rumoured to be seeking exile.

Government forces have reportedly killed at least 130 protesters and detained 3,500 demonstrators in three months, with more than 430 activists still incarcerated. 

As a result, all 545 seats of a new ‘Constituent Assembly’ are being filled with candidates hand-picked by Mr Maduro’s National Socialist Party (PSUV).

Unite, which has 1.42 million members, describes itself as “fighting for employees in the workplace, protecting workers’ rights and taking trade unionism out to millions of unorganised workers.”

The newspaper’s investigation found that in 2015, Len McCluskey, Unite’s then General Secretary, was one of 18 Unite officials who backed a motion to support The Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign.

The probe also discovered that Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, was listed as an ‘honorary patron’ for the Venezuelan group.

In 2007, key Labour figures including Ms Abbott, Ken Livingstone and Tony Ben expressed their support for Hugo Chavez.

Mr Chavez, the key driving force behind Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, died in 2013 and was replaced by vice-president Nicolas Maudro.

The pro-Chavez open letter, from 2007, was co-signed by other high-profile Labour politicians, including Tony Benn and then-London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas – who was then an MEP – also added her name to the gushing letter, published in the Guardian.

The signatories wrote: “We believe that the lives of millions of Venezuelans have been transformed by the progressive social and democratic policies of Hugo Chavez’s government.

“Extreme poverty has been…

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