Venezuela hires American lobbying firm that represents Turkey

The Venezuelan government of President Nicolás Maduro has hired Amsterdam and Partners LLP, a U.S. law firm that also represents Turkey, in a fresh effort to battle harsh sanctions by Washington, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Lawyer Robert Amsterdam declined to comment on the nature of the work for Maduro’s Inspector General Reinaldo Muñoz, who tapped the Amsterdam & Partners law firm for the portfolio, other than saying it would focus on sanctions and human rights issues, AP said.

Another legal team from Foley & Lardner dropped the Venezuelan government as a client last month following accusations of collaborating with a repressive regime.

Since 2015, Amsterdam has assisted Turkey in seeking the extradition of a U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Turkey accuses of having masterminded the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. Turkey’s government is a staunch economic and political ally of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, AP said.

The international law firm has also been involved with Turkey’s lobbying efforts against the hundreds of charter schools operated by followers of Gülen in the United States.

Turkey also shares lobbying firms with another of its allies, the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya.