Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: AFP
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: AFP

Ahead of a national election to be held this weekend, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro – who is widely expected to win reelection despite having presided over a devastating economic crisis – got a rare endorsement from a foreign leader.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan expressed his support for Maduro during a live, split-screen conversation broadcast on Venezuelan state television.

“I have faith you will be triumphant,” Erdogan reportedly told Maduro during the chat.

Maduro told Erdogan in response that “Venezuelans are going to give a lesson on democracy and liberty to the world on Sunday.”

Erdogan’s embrace of the diplomatically isolated Maduro is another sign of the realities of the new multipolar world, Adam Garrie writes at Eurasia Future. Turkey – an ostensible ally of the United States as a member of NATO – is reaching out to new partners, regardless of conflicting political ideologies.

“Today, it is not so much the common characteristics that bind countries together as it is common goals for sustained and sustainable development that tie them together. Furthermore, when countries outside the clear orbit of the US hegemon feel a common threat, this further serves to bind new partners together.”

Garrie also emphasized how China’s leadership will facilitate opportunities.

“Turkey’s enthusiastic participation in China’s One Belt–One Road infrastructural and trading initiative is a further sign that while Turkey continues to think globally, there is a clear pivot in Ankara’s geopolitical trajectory towards the wider Eurasian and even Afro-Eurasian space.

“Venezuela continues to extend partnerships across the globe beyond its traditional Latin American and Caribbean partners. Venezuela has strong relations with China, Russia and Iran and a growing relationship with Turkey that President Erdogan has indicated will continue to blossom.”

The “common threat” represented by the US is on display ahead of elections in Venezuela, as The New York Times reported Wednesday.

“President Trump faces a difficult juggling act as he tries to persuade China, India and other countries to join in oil sanctions against Iran while also pressuring Venezuela…

“Simultaneous moves against the Iranian and Venezuelan governments would amount to a complicated geopolitical game, with energy-hungry countries likely to look for ways to dodge sanctions and adversaries likely to seek ways to take advantage.”

As the new fault lines in this multipolar world appear, once-allies of the US find themselves standing alongside Washington’s adversaries. With an eye to protect their interests, the US seems to give them little choice.