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Manage episode 273663326 series 2800406
In this episode, we recap and discuss one of the most convoluted and eventful weeks of the year in Venezuela.
In the short span of a week, we saw: the surprise release of a high profile political prisoner, the surprise pardoning of 110 people (50 of 110 also political prisoners), the announcement of a minority faction of the opposition to participate in upcoming rigged parliamentary elections, and the revelation that the release of the political prisoners was a prerequisite for the minority opposition to participate in these elections, in a deal between the breakaway opposition members and the Maduro regime, brokered by Turkey.
“Turkey has itself been criticized for its authoritarian practices, persecution of political opponents and manipulation of democratic institutions. What could [Turkish President] Erdogan possibly contribute to peaceful, pluralistic and democratic transition in Venezuela?”
This is the poignant question asked by Imdat Oner, former Deputy of Head of Mission and Political Officer at the Turkish Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela between 2014 and 2016, who joins us in this episode to discuss this sudden series of events.
Imdat an expert in Turkish politics, and has extensively published on Venezuela’s relations with Turkey, specifically Turkey’s growing role in the axis of foreign actors that are actively propping up the Maduro regime. He’s currently a policy analyst at the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at Florida International University.
In this episode, we discuss Turkey’s role in brokering a deal between the Maduro regime and the breakaway opposition consisting of Stalin Gonzalez and Henrique Capriles, a three-time presidential candidate who has officially broken from interim President Juan Guaidó’s call for unity to participate in December’s questionable parliamentary elections.
We also discuss Venezuela’s gold-for-food scheme orchestrated in concert with Turkey to keep the Maduro regime afloat, as well as how to reconcile the authoritarian alliance between Maduro and Erdogan with the friendship between Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of elections that will inevitably shift the political dynamic in Venezuela.