Turkish president praises Venezuela’s leader in 1st visit

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

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"I want my visit to be considered as a symbol of collaboration of the Turkish people with the people of Venezuela", said Erdogan.

"It's been a very long, intense couple of days of work", Maduro said after meeting investors.

Last month the US imposed sanctions on Venezuela's gold sector.

"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.

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 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. "You cannot punish a whole people to resolve political disagreements", he explained.

Maduro added he remains "in permanent contact" with the Russian leader.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan described also his counterpart and Venezuelan ally Nicolas Maduro as the modern Simon Bolivar, who will defeat all attacks against him.

The Venezuelan strongman is in Moscow to whip up support from allies to prop up an economy in freefall.

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

Both leaders are battling financial crises and have clashed with the U.S. in recent months.

Along with the increase in the minimum wage, Maduro raised the exchange rate for Petro, since the two indices attached to each other.

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.

Maduro has repeatedly blamed a US-led economic war for the crisis, saying Washington is plotting to topple his government.

In what Maduro said was a clear message to the world, he stressed Turkey's position as an "important leader" in Eurasia and the current head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as Caracas' place as the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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