US sanctions have "returned like a boomerang," affecting the American and European economies, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro told Anadolu Agency.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Maduro said "it is very difficult" when he was asked about the possibility of the lifting of US sanctions against Venezuela.
"Because the US empire has always been caught up in its own aggression. Look at what is happening right now with Russia. All the sanctions imposed – more than a thousand economic sanctions against the Russian economy, agriculture, oil, and gas – have returned like a boomerang, and today they have returned against the European and American economies, which are creaking with galloping inflation, and they also affected the economies and economic rights of all the countries of the world."
Caracas made an "important contact" on March 5 with a delegation from the US government, and they maintained a fluid, permanent communication, Maduro said, adding Washington authorized American oil company Chevron, Italian Eni, and Spanish Repsol to move their investments in Venezuela to produce oil and gas for its natural market.
"They are small steps in the right direction. Let's have patience, patience, patience and keep working to get ahead with our own effort," he said. "And hopefully one day, the United States abandons its policy of aggression, of coercion, of sanctions."
Venezuela's exclusion from Summit of Americas 'huge mistake'
On the exclusion of Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas organized by the Organization of American States, Maduro said that the exclusion of his country along with Nicaragua and Cuba, which he called "anti-imperialist countries in Latin America and the Caribbean," has been rejected by more than 25 governments across the region.
"This meeting of the Americas has been transformed into a meeting of the protest of the governments against exclusion and a lesson has been taught to the American empire that ... the time of the imperial orders is over," he said.
"And I would say that it was a huge mistake made by the country's administration to try to exclude our country," Maduro said, referring to Caracas' absence in Los Angeles.
He further said: "Unfortunately, that so-called Summit of the Americas gradually deteriorated from the political-diplomatic point of view. In these summits, no important issues are discussed, the priority issues of the peoples, the main problems we have."
"The US empire intends to reach these instances to give orders, believing that Latin America and the Caribbean are the backyard of the US empire. Those times have passed," he stressed.
Asked whether he plans to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is also in the Turkish capital Ankara for contacts, Maduro said he did not know that Lavrov is also in Ankara, but added: "If I can see him, I would be very happy. He is a great friend."
Maduro said he has already been in "this beautiful Turkish homeland" on several occasions, hailing "the great friendship" Türkiye and Venezuela enjoy.
He said Ankara and Caracas have already agreements in various areas, such as commerce, finance, science, technology, agriculture, mining, and energy.
In 2021, Türkiye and Venezuela reached a commercial exchange of $858 million, he said, adding the goal is to reach $1.5 billion between 2022 and 2023.
"And this visit precisely has the objective of adjusting new issues that allow us to grow in everything: comprehensive cooperation in the economic, scientific, technological, and energy areas," the president said.
"We have never had such a close relationship with Türkiye or with this region of the world as we have today. That is why I tell you the world is much more than the United States and the West," he said, adding that Türkiye is "one of the most important regions."
On the third meeting of the High-Level Joint Commission of Türkiye and Venezuela, which has been held recently, Maduro said: "There we are seeing a growth plan for the next 10 or 15 years of all commercial, agricultural, energy, and financial relations.
"I can tell you that Venezuela is the best guarantee that Turkish businessmen can have to make their investments in Latin America and the Caribbean," he said. "Venezuela can be the port of arrival for all the products of great industry and great production of Türkiye to Latin America and the Caribbean. We give all the legal guarantees to the Turkish investors so that they will present their work."
Recalling Venezuela's economic suffering for years, Maduro said 2021 was the first year of a definitive slowdown in inflation, construction of new macroeconomic instruments, exchange rate stability, and economic growth in Venezuela.
"Already for the year 2022, the first quarter indicates that Venezuela has had a growth of more than 10% of its real economy," he added.
The president underlined that it is the "ideal time" for the arrival of international investment in Venezuela, especially investments from Türkiye, while the Latin American country is in process of growth of its trade and production capacity in all industrial areas.
There are 18 sectors of the economy where Venezuela has taken special measures to guarantee harmonious, stable, and permanent growth, he said.