Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing renewed criticism over his stance on the unrest in Venezuela, after he denounced violence by “all sides” in his first public comments on the subject but stopped short of condemning the country’s embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking on Newsnight, the leader of the centre-left Popular Will party Juan Andres Mejia questioned Corbyn’s understanding of the situation and suggested he should ask “the mothers and fathers of those who have been killed” what’s really going on.

“What I would say to Jeremy Corbyn is that he really has to know what’s going on in our country to make a statement”, Mejia said.

“Violence has not been done by both sides. Violence has been promoted by the government”.

He continued: “And maybe the mothers and fathers of those who have been killed would be willing to speak to Jeremy Corbyn to explain and to tell him what the real situation has been”.

Some 120 people have been killed during four months of anti-government protests and Maduro has faced global pressure over recent elections condemned as an undemocratic power grab. Two opposition leaders were recently seized from their homes following their calls to protest the vote, which granted Maduro’s government sweeping powers to overhaul the country’s political system.

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