Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended Venezuela's right to self-determination and said neither he nor his government would abandon the South American country after it faced a week of attacks from various regional and world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“Turkey will not leave (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro alone,” Erdogan said Thursday in New York while berating other leaders, who have taken aim at Venezuela's leader.
Erdogan also said if his agenda allows it, he would visit the country following the G-20 summit in Argentina scheduled for November 30 - December 1. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister visited Venezuela last week and reiterated his country’s support for the South American country that is currently facing economic woes, worsened by economic and financial sanctions led by the United States and supported by the European Union, Canada and several countries in the Americas, who form part of the Lima Group.
“We want to reiterate that Turkey will continue to support Venezuela… We oppose measures to isolate the country, we are against the sanctions, and we favor dialogue between individuals,” Cavusoglu said.
Unilateral sanctions against Venezuela have been justified by the U.S. government and its allies alleging human rights violations by the Venezuelan state, a charge Maduro has denied arguing it is an excuse for a possible military intervention.
Maduro, who recently survived an assassination attempt, said Thursday that the United Nations Human Rights’ Commissioner Michelle Bachelet was welcome to visit Venezuela and conduct an international investigation on human rights “whenever she wants."
“President Bachelet, the high commissioner, coordinate with the Foreign Affairs Ministry when you want to go to Venezuela; you are always welcome,” Maduro said in a press conference.
On Thursday the Human Rights Council approved a resolution urging Venezuela to accept humanitarian aid to battle food and medicine shortages and requesting a report from Bachelet on the situation in the South American nation.
Venezuela had previously refused aid from some sources stating that the countries offering it had caused the shortages with the use of sanctions used as a means of advancing the “economic war” being waged against the self-defined Socialist government. Most recently, sanctions have made it impossible for the Brazilian state of Roraima to cancel its US$40 million electricity bill to National Electric Corporation of Venezuela.
During Maduro’s participation in the General Assembly, he reiterated his willingness to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss “all the truth of our homeland.”
“I am sure it would be for the better,” Maduro said Thursday after learning Trump had said he is open to Maduro’s invitation.