Venezuela's Maduro is on his way to Russian Federation to meet Putin

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a news conference after an agreement-signing ceremony between Turkey and Venezuela at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

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Maradona, who has gone on record with his support of Maduro's leadership of Venezuela in recent months, once again backed the president after an explosion in Caracas close to an event where the president was giving a speech.

Maduro added he remains "in permanent contact" with the Russian leader.

Despite efforts by the west to crack down on the Maduro regime, Turkey has imported over $900 million in gold this year in support of Venezuela.

Maduro said the two countries will build on the economic and diplomatic foundations.

"You can not punish an entire people to resolve political disagreements", the Turkish leader said, according to an official translation of his speech to a business forum.

Critics blame two decades of socialist rule, corruption and mismanagement for destroying Venezuela's once-thriving oil industry under the state-run PDVSA.

Trade between the two countries reached 800 million dollars in 2017, officials said.

The uncertain economic situation in the country earlier was reflected in increasing trade with Latin America, including Argentina and Peru.

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In the framework of Erdogan's visit, Venezuela and Turkey signed a series of cooperation agreements on energy, mining, and commercial and maritime transport.

Caracas has made an effort to reduce dependence on US-led or -controlled financial institutions and instruments, including the dollar, and committed in September to trading in euros, yuan and "other convertible currencies" amid United States restrictions.

The US has accused Venezuela's government of violating human rights and triggering an economic meltdown.

Maduro responded by saying that his government has overcome the challenges it faced.

The European Union has also slapped sanctions on Venezuela over alleged rights abuses and irregularities in the re-election of Maduro.

President Erdogan has promised to boost his unlikely and bourgeoning alliance with Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro on the first state visit of a Turkish president to the South American country.

"We resolve to preserve the momentum we have achieved over the past two years and to enhance our relations further", Erdoğan said at a news conference alongside his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro in the capital Caracas.

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