Putin Backs Venezuelan Regime, as Maduro Reaches out to Authoritarian Bloc for Support
A key part of Maduro's strategy to remain in power involves reaching out to the world's authoritarian governments, from Russia to China, and Iran to North Korea.
In a new meeting between Vladimir Putin and Nicolás Maduro, the president of Russia condemned any military attempt to overthrow the dictator of Venezuela.
“Of course, we condemn any action that has a clear terrorist nature, any attempt to change the situation with the use of force,” Putin said.
In the economic sphere, Putin acknowledged that economic relations have experienced “difficult times” in recent years, whereby trade between the two countries has decreased.
“But we have managed to reverse the negative trend. And this year we have already seen concrete growth,” he said.
Vladimir Putin does not foresee any circumstances under which Nicolás Maduro leaves power, especially after being a beneficiary of much of Venezuela’s largesse.
The critical situations developing in the oil market, and with regard to the stance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which this week could once again approve cuts in oil production to raise price, were also addressed by the two presidents.
It appears that states such as Russia, China, India, and Turkey will become the “lifeline” of Nicolás Maduro.
We must remember the statements of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalni, who said that Russia is financing the regime of Nicolás Maduro, adding that the Kremlin will not recover the USD $8.8 billion dollars granted in credits to Caracas.
In 2017, as well, the Russian state oil giant Rosneft transferred to Venezuela six billion dollars for advances on Venezuelan oil.
It should be noted that in December 2016 it was discovered that Nicolás Maduro secretly mortgaged the Citgo refinery in Russia for a millionaire loan.
Venezuelan oil company PDVSA has awarded the control of the refinery in the United States to Russian state-owned Rosneft.
If Citgo or PDVSA fails to pay their debt obligations, the Russian state company Rosneft could end up owning major oil refineries and oil pipelines in the United States.
Mortgaging Venezuela to stay in power
It is not the first time that Nicolás Maduro has mortgaged the assets of the South American country, in exchange for political support to stay in power.
This same week Maduro also offered to the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a deal to exploit gold, diamond, coltan, iron, and aluminum.
In addition to the governments of China and Russia, the regime of Nicolás Maduro has also “opened the doors” to the Turks to facilitate access to precious metals.
A report by the BBC World, revealed that Turkey opened a business enterprise in Caracas, in February 2018.
This is MUSIAD Venezuela (Association of Industrialists and Independent Companies of Venezuela), which was created in order to become a “bridge” between Venezuela and Turkish companies.
The director of MUSIAD is Hayri Kucukyavuz, a Turkish businessman who has lived and worked in Caracas for 24 years.
“Here, the government tells the Turkish companies: ‘I will give you the gold mine, you create the facilities, 70% of the mine will be yours and 30% will belong to the state.’ There are several companies to make these agreements here,” Kucukyavuz told the BBC.
In the absence of oil production in Venezuela, the Maduro regime has found another way to “self-finance” to stay in power, since the dictatorship is now exporting illegal gold to Turkey.
Maduro’s international actions and agreements show that he has handed over part of the country’s economy to Russia, China, and Turkey, all with the intention of staying in power; especially after January 10, when his presidential “reelection” will be unrecognized by the vast majority of the world’s democracies.
Maduro seeks support from his dictator friends
Only in the last week Nicolás Maduro has met with many “friendly dictators” in search of support before January 10, 2019. In the last few hours he has sought support from North Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Russia, and even Iran.
On Tuesday, the Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez, highlighted in a tweet that she had met in Caracas with Iranian authorities “to address issues of mutual interest.”
The perception of the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime is widespread.
Of the 76 countries with full democracy, according to the Economist’s Index of Democracy in 2018, 54 do not recognize the results of the last presidential election in Venezuela. The countries that recognized it were authoritarian and hybrid regimes.
Going forward, it is imperative for Maduro and his corrupt officials, to maintain the support of the world’s dictatorships, in order to stay in power. Much of Venezuelan diplomacy will now be dedicated to this end.