Turkey voices its disapproval of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela

Ankara disapproves of the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela imposed this week, saying in a statement by the foreign ministry that they had been untimely since talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition mediated by Norway were ongoing.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order that froze all Venezuelan government assets in the United States, putting the country on a short list of U.S. adversaries. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the new sanctions could be imposed on "anyone who supports" the Venezuelan government.

“We disapprove the U.S. Executive Order ‘Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela’ envisaging comprehensive sanctions on Venezuela was signed on 5 August 2019, at a time when talks facilitated by Norway were continuing in Barbados between the Venezuelan government and the opposition,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement

Norway began diplomatic contacts in February to start talks between the representatives of Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaidó, backed by the United States along with more than 50 other countries, and the Nicolás Maduro government. 

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been one of the strongest supporters of Maduro, whose government has presided over a period of blossoming Turkish-Venezuelan relations since 2016.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the U.S. measures would worsen the economic hardship already faced by the Venezuelan people and called for the continuation of the political dialogue. 

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nation’s human rights chief and the former president of Chile, said on Friday that the U.S. sanctions were extremely broad and would hit the most vulnerable sections of the Venezuelan society, BBC reported.

Despite some exceptions for sales linked to food, clothing and medicine, Bachelet said the measures were "still likely to significantly exacerbate the crisis for millions of ordinary Venezuelans".