Venezuela’s Maduro visits Turkey in search of investment

Ankara, Jun 8 (EFE).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said here Wednesday that his oil-rich country can serve as a port of entry for Turkish investment and tourism in Latin America.

“It is the moment for investors from Turkey in Venezuela,” he said during a joint press conference in Ankara with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Touting opportunities in “tourism, in mining, in industry, in logistics, in banking, in oil, in gas, in gold, in coal,” Maduro vowed that Venezuela will extend to Turkish investors “all the guarantees” as part of the expanding bilateral relationship.

Erdogan said that trade between Turkey and Venezuela surged from $150 billion in 2019 to more than $850 million in 2021 and predicted a further increase this year to $1 billion.

He also noted that thanks to flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Caracas is one of the few cities in Latin America with daily flights to Istanbul.

Maduro expressed appreciation for the help Venezuela received from Turkey during “the most difficult moments” of the Covid-19 pandemic, when the South American nation endured a “perfect storm” of sanctions imposed by the United States.

Turkey has been firm in its support of Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela in the face of the challenge by US-backed opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself interim head of state in early 2019.

Before facing reporters, the two presidents signed accords on cooperation in the areas of agriculture, tourism and financial services.

In an interview earlier with Turkish official news agency Anadolu, Maduro said that Venezuela could be “the port of entry” in Latin America and the Caribbean for products from Turkey.

Turkey is the first stop on what the leftist Venezuelan leader is calling a “Eurasian tour,” though he has declined to disclose an itinerary.

Commenting on Western Hemisphere politics, Maduro denounced the US decision to exclude Venezuela – along with Cuba and Nicaragua – from this week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

“Regrettably, those so-called Summits of the Americas were degraded from the political-diplomatic point of view. There is no discussion in those summits of any important issue, of the main problems we have,” he told Anadolu. EFE


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