Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro this week described the self-declared interim president and opposition leader Juan Guaido as “a CIA agent who serves the interests of the United States and the Zionists”.

Maduro’s comments were made in an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese Al-Mayadin TV.

He added that he feels “love for the noble Palestinian cause,” and sent words of “encouragement to the Palestinian and Arab prisoners confined in Israeli jails.”

The President expressed his appreciation for the solidarity of the Arab peoples with Venezuela, especially the solidarity of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian prisoners and detainees, saying: “All our love for you, and I ask God to bless you, and our commitment to you is firm and I want you to rest assured that this President supports the Palestinian conflict.”

“I feel that I am a Palestinian, I feel that I am an Arab, I feel that I am part of this historic issue. I feel this so sincerely and profoundly. I appreciate all your support. Venezuela will never give up on the Palestinian cause and we will represent true solidarity with Palestine and with its independence and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to live in peace”.

Maduro also denied that there are Hezbollah operatives acting in Venezuela, which is something claimed by the United States (note that he said this whilst speaking to a Hezbollah-linked TV channel). He also blamed the United States for trying to seize the wealth and oil of Venezuela.

Based on these comments, it is little wonder that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has defended (or at least failed to condemn) Maduro, despite his atrocious human rights record.

Here is Jeremy Corbyn congratulating Nicolas Maduro on live TV, speaking in Spanish: