Putin voices support for Venezuelan leader visiting Russia

Lamar Ellis
December 8, 2018

Venezuela's president said on Monday that his nation and Turkey have a "magnificent" future to build together.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold full-scale talks with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Moscow tomorrow, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Hit by low oil prices, mismanagement, hyperinflation and the impact of U.S. sanctions, Venezuela's economy has plummeted.

"We know that the countries want to dominate and press, as they do with the rest of the world, and they have even threatened their lives and personal integrity", stated Erdogan.

Turkey is the largest importer of Venezuelan non-monetary gold. "You cannot punish a whole people to resolve political disagreements", he explained.

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.

Erdogan reiterated that he is the first Turkish president to visit Venezuela.

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In the framework of Erdogan's visit, Venezuela and Turkey signed a series of cooperation agreements on energy, mining, and commercial and maritime transport.

Hit by U.S. and European Union sanctions, and ostracized as a dictator by Western powers for his brutal suppression of the opposition - many of whose leaders are in jail or exiled - Maduro has recently reached out to Washington's foes in a bid to raise investment.

As a result of inefficient economic policies and failed experiments, that Venezuelan consumers in the end pay a high price, which includes the compulsory government-approved cryptocurrency Petro.

"We hope that high-level visits between [officials of] the two countries will increasingly continue", he added.

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.

Earlier, Erdogan laid a wreath at the tomb of Venezuela's founding father Simon Bolivar, and Maduro also presented him with a replica of the revolutionary leader's sword.

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