While New Zealand’s major allies line up against the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro, Jacinda Ardern remains eerily silent on the crisis in Venezuela, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada, and more than a dozen EU countries have voiced their strong opposition to Maduro’s socialist government and have recognised Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim leader.

“The Venezuelan people have suffered immensely under socialism.

“Humanitarian and financial crises characterised by acute food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation have seen three million people flee the country.

“Elections last year were widely condemned as illegitimate. Most opposition parties were banned from participating. Maduro has cracked down on the opposition, employing arrests, torture, and temporary disappearances to quash dissent.

“It is deeply concerning that the Prime Minister would choose to criticise right-wing governments in Washington and Canberra but cannot bring herself to denounce Venezuela’s socialist dictator.

“Our Government must stand on the right side of history, publicly reject socialism, and stand up for freedom.”