The Turkish government has aligned itself with Venezuela in defending against accusations of human rights violations in the Latin American country after the United Nations said Venezuela’s actions have been characterized by repressive and heavy-handed tactics, at times reaching the level of crimes against humanity, all aimed at suppressing the will of its people, the Nordic Monitor news website reported.
In recent years the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has nurtured close relations with the Venezuelan government under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro. This warm rapport was evident when Turkey issued a statement in support of the repressive regime in Latin America during the UN Human Rights Council meeting held on September 25 in Geneva.
The council discussed a report prepared by a UN independent fact-finding mission, which ultimately concluded that Venezuelan authorities had orchestrated and executed a policy designed to suppress, deter and eliminate opposition to the government, even resorting to actions that could be classified as crimes against humanity.
Turkey voiced objections to the findings of the report, contending that the UN had not adequately considered the perspective of the Venezuelan government. Furthermore, Turkey attempted to offer a justification for the grave human rights violations in Venezuela by asserting that the report failed to acknowledge improvements in security and socio-economic conditions within the country.
In what appeared to be a criticism directed at the United States and its allies who had imposed punitive measures on the Maduro government due to rights violations, Turkish Ambassador Güven Begeç, who serves as the permanent representative of Turkey to the UN Office in Geneva, remarked that the “unilateral course of measures have a negative impact on the daily life of all Venezuelans, a fact that is not incorporated into the report, either.”
He added that “the challenges including those in the field of human rights can be only solved through dialogue and cooperation among the Venezuelans themselves.” In other words, Turkey views the situation as an internal matter for Venezuela and may be implying that external entities, including the UN, should refrain from any interference or intervention.
Both Turkey and Venezuela have faced international scrutiny for human rights violations. Their governments have been accused of authoritarian governance that lacks effective checks and balances. Erdoğan is expected to make a second visit to Caracas, following his historic 2018 visit, to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two nations.