Turkey's Erdogan praises Venezuela strongman's 'exemplary attitude' in first visit

Putin to hold talks with Maduro tomorrow

"We do not approve of these measures that ignore the rules of global trade", Erdogan said at the Turkey-Venezuela Business Forum alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas on Monday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he is on his way to Moscow for an "important meeting" with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

"Political problems can not be resolved by punishing an entire nation", Erdogan said, with Maduro by his side at a forum attended by business people from both countries.

"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.

Hit by low oil prices, mismanagement and the impact of USA sanctions, Venezuela is in freefall and Maduro is seeking support from allies after winning a second presidential term this year.

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

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

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Maduro contends he is the victim of an "economic war" led by US-backed adversaries. "You cannot punish a whole people to resolve political disagreements", he explained.

Caracas has made an effort to reduce dependence on US-led or -controlled financial institutions and instruments, including the dollar, and committed in September to trading in euros, yuan and "other convertible currencies" amid U.S. restrictions.

Trade between the two countries has risen sixfold over...

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.

Without naming the United States, Maduro decried sanctions and said Venezuela had the right to sell gold.

Venezuela, overwhelmed by hyperinflation, a severe shortage of commodities and a strong recession, has reportedly exported around $ 700 million worth of gold to Turkey.

Erdogan vowed to offer help for Venezuela and he praised Maduro, contrasting the Venezuelan against other world leaders whom he said espouse divisive sentiments.

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