US Senator Marco Rubio called on the US embassy in Turkey, via his Twitter account on Saturday, to request that the Turkish state stop helping Maduro to ‘steal the gold reserves’.
“We really don’t need any new irritants right now in this already complicated moment in our bilateral relationship. I respectfully request you recommend that #Turkey stop helping #Maduro steal the gold reserves of #Venezuela,” read Rubio’s tweet, which was posted as a mention to the official Twitter account of the US Embassy in Turkey.
Venezuela exported $900 million of unrefined gold to Turkey between January and September of 2018, according to Turkish government statistics.
Following Rubio’s tweet, came statements from the Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu accusing the countries that recognised Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela for fuelling the crisis in the country.
Turkey has backed Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, in stark contrast with NATO allies the United States and Canada, aligning itself with Russia and China instead.
The coloured map showing the countries that support Maduro throughout the world is viewed by many as the latest symbol of Turkey’s shift towards the eastern hemisphere.