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A new international alliance has just emerged. As a result of the XXIII World Energy Summit held in Istanbul, the presidents of Russia and Turkey Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to join forces. The appointment was the third meeting between the two leaders since the attempted coup in Turkey, on 15th July. The summit strengthens ties between Putin and Erdogan, which were seriously affected in the past. The president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro also attended enthusiastically, delighted to be part of this new group.
Since July 15th happened a number of things in Turkey, such as approval of the extension of emergency rule by the Turkish parliament, in force since July after the military coup, which will continue in force for the coming three months. The president and founder of the AKP, Tayyip Erdogan stated that may even be necessary to extend the emergency rule for an entire year, to better combat the Fethullah Gulen’ brotherhood, the preacher in exile whom Erdogan portrayed as the responsible for the coup. The opposition considers this measure to be a kind of carte blanche to “take revenge” apart from the law on Erdogan’ enemies.
In Venezuela, Maduro is at his lowest popularity moment. Considerably more than half the population want a Revoking Referendum to remove him from office. Although he is using in the meantime all necessary wiles to skip the legality, delegitimizing the parliament by avoiding passing laws as he does not have the required majority, and sending them directly the Supreme Court. His recent statements have announced that the Revoking referendum and the presidential elections will be suspended until the economic crisis is not solved and overcome. He said that of the Chavez regime has come to stay for the next 100 years. Not very promising.
Venezuela’s approach to Turkey comes on the heels of the newly recovered relations between Moscow and Ankara. When in November 2015 a Turkish fighter shot down a Russian aircraft on the border with Syria, the tension between the two countries rocketed seriously. The Chavista’ press took sides with Moscow by then, and echoed all the rumours coming from Russia which accused Erdogan of supporting the Daesh terrorists. Today all that remains far and the situation has turned around 180 degrees, while Turkey’s relations with the United States and the European Union have seriously deteriorated due to the crossing of accusations about the coup’ authorship and about the massive purges taking place to date.
With regards to Russia, the elections are coming in 2018, and Putin has started selective repressions, placed governors and officials in jail, and removed old friends from key positions. This is a pattern of centralizing control by Putin, who has made it clear that what he needs is an instrument to protect his own regime. There is also the determined decision to keep Russia’ influence and control in Syria which is being widely questioned.
The Summit has helped to make progress about future energy engagements, economic cooperation and expanding investment and relations among Turkey, Russia and Venezuela. In addition to the collaboration on energy, the three countries’ leaders have large personal similarities, and they have laid the foundation of an anti-Western political axis based on their confrontation with the USA and the EU. Although Turkey still belongs to NATO.
There is much binding the Three Magnificent. Authoritarianism: all three aspire to a single-party system in their respective countries, without any political opposition, albeit with a semblance of a Western democracy. The three leaders also aim to answer to the US hegemony: The number of frictions and disagreements with Washington both at the regional level, the drug cartels in Latin America or the warnings to Venezuela about the absence of the rule of law; at the international level, the crisis in Ukraine and Syria in particular, has led to gather Russia, Turkey and Venezuela together to face to the US.
Finally, all three have a great cult of their own personality, which has grown significantly in the official media, as the independent or are non-existing or are victims of constant harassment, according to the international organizations’ reports. Their megalomania has led them to order the regular presence of their images in the streets, the public buildings and at the public transportation.
Maduro admires Putin greatly, to the point to propose the Russian leader as the first winner of the newly created “Hugo Chavez Peace and Peoples’ Sovereignty Award“. Seems to me he is not the only one, as Trump expressed his admiration about the Russian, and his consideration as the “real leader of Europa”. Interesting times as coming over.