"While Venezuelans suffer and die of hunger, Nicolás Maduro and Cilia are enjoying themselves at one of the most expensive restaurants in the world", fumed Julio Borges, the exiled former president of the country's national assembly, according to the UK Guardian.
Nusret Gokce, the chef who went viral because of the way he flamboyantly plates up his salted meat dishes, earning the moniker Salt Bae, posted three videos to his Instagram account on Monday (local time) of Mr Maduro dining at his Istanbul restaurant.
Gokce slices meat in front of him and Maduro holds up a t-shirt at the table, at one point telling diners, "This is a once in a lifetime moment", per Reuters.
President Maduro spoke about the now-controversial lunch during a televised news conference, confirming that he had eaten there during his stopover from China.
Venezuela's political opposition jumped on the meal as evidence of Maduro's disconnect from the country's crisis, which has caused over two million people to emigrate to escape widespread shortages of food and medicine.
Industry is operating at just 30 per cent while 87 per cent of the population lives in poverty, according to a group of leading universities.
Venezuela has sold 9.9 percent of shares in oil joint venture Sinovensa to a Chinese oil company, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday, adding the OPEC nation expected some $5 billion in joint investment with China to boost its crude output.
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He later deleted the images and a thank you post to Maduro.
In a university study released past year, two thirds of Venezuelans said they had lost an average of 11kg in body weight in the previous 12 months, and 87 per cent were judged to be living in poverty.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he was evaluating whether or not he would attend this week's United Nations General Assembly meeting in NY, citing concerns about his safety.
Maduro was in Turkey after touring China and Russian Federation to secure funding for the cash-strapped national oil company PDVSA.
Gokce owns several luxurious restaurants in the United States, the Middle East and Turkey, and videos of him carving meat have been watched by millions of people. He loves Venezuela, he told me several times, ' Maduro said.