Venezuela has been engulfed by economic turmoil because it "took a wrong turn" and is no longer "a socialist country" , John McDonnell has said.
Speaking on the Sunday Politics show, the shadow chancellor attributed the current woes of the Latin American country to the "wrong turn" it took after the incumbent president Nicolás Maduro took over from veteran socialist leader Hugo Chávez in 2013.
When asked if Venezuela was a failed socialist economic model, McDonnell said: "It went wrong. I don't think it is a socialist country.
"I think it took a wrong turn when Chávez went and I think unfortunately since then, I don't think they have been following the socialist policies that Chávez developed. And as a result of that they're experiencing problems."
Venezuela is going to the polls today in an incredibly fraught election that Maduro is expected to win, with the two main opposition candidates, Leopoldo López and Henrique Capriles, banned from running.
Under Maduro's watch the once oil-wealthy nation has been reduced to poverty, violence and corruption caused by hyperinflation and widespread medicine and food shortages.
When the violence began in 2017, the Labour party was condemned for not speaking out against Maduro who oversaw a sham election that saw more than a hundred people killed in anti-government protests and hundreds more imprisoned.
In the interview McDonnell also laid out his own plans to "transform the economy", which he said was equivalent to "overthrowing capitalism".
Unveiling his plans to extend ownership of the UK economy in a nod to John Lewis' business model, McDonnell said the UK should follow the lead of France – which legislates for profit sharing – because "we're not going to be ripped off anymore".