Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro Wednesday offered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to turn Venezuela into a port of entry into Latin America.
It's time for Turkish investors in Venezuela, for them to arrive in tourism, mining, industry, logistics, banking, oil, gas, gold, coal, the South American ruler told Erdogan during a state trip to Ankara. He added that Turkish investors would enjoy all the guarantees for a process of expansion in the relationship between both countries.
Maduro made these remarks in a joint press conference with Erdogan after a private interview following a ceremony where bilateral agreements on agriculture, tourism, and financial relations were signed.
I can tell you that Venezuela is the best guarantee that businessmen from Türkiye can have to make their investments in Latin America and the Caribbean, Maduro said. (Read also https://en.mercopress.com/2022/06/04/no-more-turkey-it-is-now-t-rkiye )
Venezuela can be the port of arrival of all ... products from Türkiye to Latin America and the Caribbean. We give all legal guarantees to Turkish investors to present their work, Maduro stressed.
Erdogan also highlighted that bilateral trade in 2019 was worth US$150 million and it went up to over US$850 million in 2021. The Turkish leader forecast it will reach US$1 billion by the end of 2022.
Caracas is one of the few cities in Latin America that has a regular connection of seven flights a week with Istanbul, thanks to flag carrier Turkish Airlines, Erdogan also pointed out before announcing he would be traveling to the Venezuelan capital in July. Maduro and Erdogan had already exchanged visits in 2018.
The Venezuelan head of state also highlighted Türkiye's support during the most difficult moments, of more uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, at a time marked by an avalanche of sanctions and threats of invasion, which boiled up to a perfect storm.
Erdogan's government has defended Maduro's legitimacy over opposition leader Juan Guaidó's idea to become acting president and call for new elections back in 2019.
Ankara is the first stage of what Maduro described as a Eurasian tour, although he has not yet revealed the future stops of the trip.
In his interview with Turkish news agency Anadolu, Maduro criticized US President Joseph Biden's decision to exclude Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, from which Cuba and Nicaragua too were banned due to the undemocratic nature of the local governments, according to Washington.
This meeting in Los Angeles has been transformed into a meeting of the protest of governments against the exclusion and a lesson has been given to the US empire that seeks to be obeyed, Maduro underlined.
I would say that it was a blunder committed by Biden's administration to try to exclude our country, the Venezuelan president insisted. Unfortunately, those so-called Summits of the Americas were degraded from the political-diplomatic point of view. In those summits, no important issues are discussed, not even the main problems we have, he added.
Maduro underlined the US continued to believe that Latin America and the Caribbean were the backyard of their empire. Those times are over, he stressed.