Skip to main content

Venezuela's Maduro finds solidarity in Turkey

When supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan look at the situation in Venezuela, they see a leader to be defended like their own instead of a situation to be avoided.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (L) shakes hands with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Istanbul, Turkey October 10, 2016. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSRMVB

Venezuela, hit by economic devastation and political turmoil, is one of the most troubled countries today. Its situation has lately become so dire that 90% of its citizens are reported to have trouble affording food. Meanwhile, Venezuelan officials have “embezzled billions.” Venezuela currently ranks as the most corrupt country in Latin America. The ongoing catastrophe there has triggered mass unrest against President Nicolas Maduro, who has responded by grabbing more power and cracking down on the opposition with such measures as arresting opposition leaders. That is why Maduro is widely condemned around the world as a “dictator,” and Venezuela seems to be yet another failed experiment in socialism.

There are, however, admirers of Venezuela and its autocratic president, and they are not just left-wing comrades such as British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. To wit, Maduro enjoys unmistakable sympathy in Turkey from a political strain that can hardly be defined as “left” — Erdoganism, the ruling ideology and sentiment centered around the resolute leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.