Venezuelans starve while president feasts at famous restaurant in Turkey

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, returning from an Asian tour, stopped off in Turkey to dine at a famous restaurant where he sampled steaks and smoked cigars from a personalized box. He confirmed the visit himself (CNN video in Spanish) to a state broadcaster September 17. (Reuters)

Maduro and wife, Cilia Flores, visited one of chef Nusret Gökçe’s Nusr-Et restaurants, known for their $100 (€85) rib-eye steak. Maduro was returning from an official trip to China in hopes of securing financing for his cash-strapped country.

In videos posted by Gökçe in social media, Maduro is seen eating steak while also holding a cigar and trying on a T-shirt depicting the restaurateur’s image. Gökce promotes himself as a character called “Salt Bae,” and is famous for how he prepares and seasons steaks.

The Associated Press reported that Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a fierce critic of Maduro, piled on criticism noting that Gökçe also has a restaurant in Miami — home to a large population of Venezuelan immigrants, most of them hostile to Maduro.

“I don’t know who this weirdo #Saltbae is, but the guy he is so proud to host is not the President of Venezuela. He is actually the overweight dictator of a nation where 30% of the people eat only once a day & infants are suffering from malnutrition,” Rubio said on Twitter.

While in China, the Latin American leader met with President Xi Jinping and the head of the National Development and Reform Commission, a macroeconomic management agency that oversees the Chinese economy, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also discussed bilateral affairs with Premier Li Keqiang.

How much money has China loaned the Venezuelan government in recent years?

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