Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was thanked by his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro on live television for Turkey’s support for constitutional legitimacy in his country.
During a live interview with Spanish-language channel La Sexta, Maduro vowed to continue to strengthen his country’s alliance with Turkey in the fields of economy, trade, finance and technology.
Asked whether he would relinquish power to U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, Maduro said that the best thing for Venezuela is to respect the constitution, adding that he has sworn to respect and uphold it.
During the live interview, Maduro took out his phone and sent his rival an audio message, warning him to “think well about what he’s doing” and stop this “coup-mongering strategy.”
Spain, the U.K., France, Sweden, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands have announced that they no longer recognize incumbent President Nicolas Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions climbed on Jan. 23 when Guaido declared himself interim president, but Maduro has so far refused calls to step down.
He has accused the U.S. of orchestrating a coup against his government saying he is open to dialogue with the opposition.
The U.S. has led an international campaign to apply economic and diplomatic pressure on Maduro, including sanctioning last week the country's state-owned oil company and a joint venture with its Nicaraguan counterpart.
Russia, China, Turkey and Iran have also put their weight behind Maduro.