Foreign relations of Venezuela

Foreign relations of Venezuela

Venezuela's declared priorities in the international arena are:
*Respect for human rights;
*The right of all people to self-determination;
*Nonintervention in the internal affairs of other nations;
*Peaceful settlement of disputes between nations, including border disputes;
*The right of all people to peace and security; and
*Support for democracy. [ [ "Venezuela shares your wish for freedom," Parliamentarians tell PMR ] ]

Hemispheric cooperation and integration are two pillars of president Hugo Chávez's foreign policy. Venezuela worked closely with its neighbors following the 1997 Summit of the Americas in many areas--particularly energy integration--and championed the OAS decision to adopt an Anti-Corruption Convention. Venezuela also participates in the UN Friends groups for Haiti. It is pursuing efforts to join the MERCOSUR trade bloc to expand the hemisphere's trade integration prospects. The Venezuelan government advocates an end to Cuba's isolation and a "multi-polar" world based on ties among Third World countries.

The USA and Hugo Chávez

Since Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela, the long-standing close diplomatic relationship between Venezuela and the United States have progressively worsened. During Venezuela's presidency of OPEC in 2000, Chávez made a ten-day tour of OPEC countries, in the process becoming the first head of state to meet Saddam Hussein since the Gulf War. The visit was controversial at home and in the United States, although Chávez did respect the ban on international flights to and from Iraq (he drove from Iran, his previous stop). [ [ - Chavez's tour of OPEC nations arrives in Baghdad - August 10, 2000 ] ]

Chávez opposition to U.S. foreign policy

Chávez's stance as an OPEC price hawk has raised the price of oil for the United States. His public friendship and significant trade relationship with Cuba and Fidel Castro has undermined the U.S. foreign policy of isolating Cuba. Long-running ties between the U.S. and Venezuelan militaries were severed on Chávez's initiative. Chávez has been intensely critical of U.S. economic and foreign policy: in Iraq, Haiti, regarding the Free Trade Area of the Americas and in numerous other areas.

Allegations of U.S. covert actions against Chávez government

After Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez resumed his presidency in April 2002, he claimed that a plane with U.S. registration numbers had visited and been berthed at Venezuela's Orchila Island airbase, where Chávez had been held captive. On May 14, 2002, Chávez alleged that he had definitive proof of U.S. military involvement in April's coup. He claimed that during the coup Venezuelan radar images had indicated the presence of U.S. naval vessels and aircraft in Venezuelan waters and airspace. "The Guardian" published a claim by Wayne Madsenndash a writer (at the time) for left-wing publications, former U.S. naval analyst, and critic of the George W. Bush administrationndash alleging U.S. naval involvement. ["Campbell, Duncan". ("The Guardian", 29 April 2006). [,3604,706802,00.html American navy 'helped Venezuelan coup'] . Retrieved 21 June 2006] U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, D-CT, requested an investigation of concerns that Washington appeared to condone the removal of Chavez, ["BBC News", (14 May 2002). [ US investigates Venezuela coup role] . Retrieved 21 June 2006.] cite journal
month=May 9
title=Chavez: Please explain
journal=60 Minutes
] which subsequently found that "U.S. officials acted appropriately and did nothing to encourage an April coup against Venezuela's president", nor did they provide any naval logistical support. U.S. Embassy, Caracas, Venezuela. [ State Dept. Issues Report on U.S. Actions During Venezuelan Coup: (Inspector General finds U.S. officials acted properly during coup).] Accessed 26 May 2006.] U.S. Department of State and Office of Inspector General. [ A Review of U.S. Policy toward Venezuela, November 2001 - April 2002.] Accessed 26 May 2006.]

According to "Democracy Now!", CIA documents indicate that the Bush administration knew about a plot weeks before the April military coup. They cite a document dated 6 April 2002, which says: "dissident military factions...are stepping up efforts to organize a coup against President Chavez, possibly as early as this month." According to William Brownfield, U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, the U.S. embassy in Venezuela warned Chávez about a coup plot in April 2002."Márquez Humberto". (IPS March 9 2006) [ "Statements Indicate Chávez May Indeed Be in Somebody's Crosshairs".] Accessed 21 June 2006.] Further, the U.S. Department of State and the investigation by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General found no evidence that "U.S. assistance programs in Venezuela, including those funded by the [U.S.] National Endowment for Democracy (NED), were inconsistent with U.S. law or policy" or ". . . directly contributed, or was intended to contribute, to the coup d'état."CIA Documents Show Bush Knew of 2002 Coup in Venezuela. [ "Democracy Now" Monday, November 29, 2004] Accessed 15 August 2006.] Venezuelan President Chávez also claimed, during the coup's immediate aftermath, that the U.S. was still seeking his overthrow. On October 6, 2002, he stated that he had foiled a new coup plot, and on October 20, 2002, he stated that he had barely escaped an assassination attempt while returning from a trip to Europe. During that period, the US ambassador to Venezuela warned the Chávez administration of two potential assassination plots."Márquez Humberto". (IPS March 9 2006) [ Statements Indicate Chávez May Indeed Be in Somebody's Crosshairs] . Retrieved 21 June 2006] ]

Personal disputes

Venezuelan President Chávez's anti-U.S. rhetoric has sometimes touched the personal. In response to the ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in February 2004, Chávez called U.S. President George W. Bush a "bendejo" ("asshole"). In a later speech, he made personal remarks regarding United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The U.S. has called Chávez a "negative force" in the region, and requested support from Venezuela's neighbors in isolating Chávez. In 2006, when addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Chávez called Bush "the devil."

Allegations over weapons purchases

The United States has opposed and lobbied against numerous Venezuelan arms purchases, including a purchase of 100,000 rifles from Russia, which United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld implied would be passed on to FARC, and the purchase of aircraft from Brazil. The United States has also warned Israel to not carry through on a deal to upgrade Venezuela's aging fleet of F-16s, and has similarly pressured Spain.

Organization of American States (OAS)

At the 2005 meeting of the Organization of American States, a United States resolution to add a mechanism to monitor the nature of democracies was widely seen as a move to isolate Venezuela. The failure of the resolution was seen as politically significant, expressing Latin American support for Chávez.

Foreign Relations with Canada

Venezuela and Canada have had diplomatic relations since January 1953. The relations between the two countries have been based on mutual commercial interests; especially in technology, oil and gas industry, telecommunications and others.

International disputes

Border dispute

Venezuela claims most of Guyana west of the Essequibo River. It also has a maritime boundary dispute with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela.

See also

* Foreign policy of Hugo Chávez
* Canada-Venezuela relations
* Colombia-Venezuela relations
* Cuba-Venezuela relations
* Iran-Venezuela relations
* Israel-Venezuela relations
* Taiwan-Venezuela relations
* United States-Venezuela relations
* List of diplomatic missions in Venezuela
* Venezuelan diplomatic missions
* Maletinazo



* Frisneda, Pedro F. ("UPI", 5 April 2005). [ "Deciphering 'The Chavez Code'"] . Retrieved 28 October 2005.
* Parma, Alessandro. ("Venezuelanalysis", 24 October 2005). [ "U.S. Continues to Block Venezuelan Defense Development"] . Retrieved 28 October 2005.

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