Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho
The governments of Venezuela and Turkey signed an agreement on Tuesday, August 18, for the construction of housing and a hospital in the South American country. The commitment also includes the provision of supplies to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Turkish head of foreign affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, met in Caracas with his Venezuelan counterpart, Jorge Arreaza, and was also received by Maduro and the vice president, Delcy Rodríguez.
“We appreciate the hospitality and also how well the working meeting was,” said Çavuşoğlu, adding that more supplies to face the pandemic were on the flight.
The construction projects will be handle by the Turkish company, Summa. However, the authorities did not disclose further details about this project.
During the visit, the ministers signed several bilateral agreements, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Caracas.
Turkey was one of the countries, along with Russia and Iran, that offered Maduro the most diplomatic support in his fight against opposition leader Juan Guaido, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan even called his Venezuelan counterpart brother.
In 2017, Maduro promised to crush the Venezuelan opposition, saying: “I will be worse than Erdogan.”
According to the United Nations, Nicolás Maduro delivered in spades, with extrajudicial executions of suspected criminals, demonstrators killed, instances of torture and rape, censorship and persecution of political foes.
The Venezuela most recent ally, Turkey, is also the name that keeps coming up in the Maduro money laundering scheme the US is investigating, and for which already two individuals (US professor Bruce Bagley and Colombian financier Alex Saab) are in jail.
Bagley was convicted and sentenced to 10 years, while Saab is sitting since June in a Cape Verde prison cell awaiting extradition to the US. Saab set up several companies in Turkey to launder funds for Maduro, the US says.