February 16, 2019

Venezuela’s Maduro decries sanctions on gold exports

08 December 2018, 09:55 | Devin Moran

In Caracas, Erdogan slams sanctions on Venezuela

Erdogan defies Trump, calls Maduro Bolivar

Maduro has become increasingly isolated in the world under growing sanctions led by the US and the European Union which accuse him of undermining democratic institutions to hold onto power, while overseeing an economic and political crisis worse than the Great Depression.

Erdoğan, the first Turkish president to visit Venezuela, said that bilateral trade between Turkey and Venezuela has jumped more than six-fold over the previous year, exceeding $1 billion in the three quarters of 2018. The main item between the two countries is gold marketing. "You cannot punish a whole people to resolve political disagreements", he explained.

The sanctions, which target U.S. individuals and companies trading in Venezuelan gold, were announced by National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Maduro stressed that the two countries enjoy "independent" economic relations with a high degree of transparency.

In the face of such threats, Ankara will work to enhance trade ties with Venezuela to help the Latin American state deal with its economic crisis, Erdogan said. One of the reasons for the attack was "Venezuela's strong support for Palestine".

Erdogan and Maduro signed a series of agreements in the areas of mining, commerce and oil.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro set off this morning to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow, the socialist leader announced.

Venezuela, which has been rocked by deadly protests and economic chaos, is counting on Russian support amid growing worldwide isolation.

The United States and the European Union have imposed sanctions on the Venezuelan régime and more than 50 of its officials for alleged acts of corruption and human rights violations.

Massive inflation and a shortage of basic commodities such as foodstuffs and medicine have forced an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans to immigrate to other South American countries. Ties between Turkey and the United States, two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, have also been strained.

Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Russian Federation will express its support for a peaceful dialogue in Venezuela, adding that all of the country's "internal political problems must be settled through an open dialogue between political forces".

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