Foreign relations of Venezuela

The foreign relations of Venezuela had since the early twentieth century been particularly strong with the United States. However, with the election of Hugo Chávez as President of Venezuela in 1998, the foreign policy differed substantially from that of previous Venezuelan governments.

Venezuela may suffer a deterioration of its power in international affairs if the global transition to renewable energy is completed. It is ranked 151 out of 156 countries in the index of Geopolitical Gains and Losses after energy transition (GeGaLo).[1]

Bilateral relationsEdit


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  • Algeria has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Algiers.
  • Angola has a consulate-General in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Luanda.
  • Egypt has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Cairo.
  Equatorial Guinea 7 May 1981 See Equatorial Guinea–Venezuela relations
  • Equatorial Guinea has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Malabo.
  • Ethiopia is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Brasília, Brazil.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Addis Ababa.
  Kenya 1970 See Kenya–Venezuela relations
  • Kenya is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Nairobi.
  • Namibia is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Havana, Cuba.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Windhoek.
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Abuja.
  Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic 3 August 1982 See Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic–Venezuela relations
  • SADR has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela is accredited to the SADR from its embassy in Algiers, Algeria.
  South Africa
  • South Africa has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Pretoria.
  • Sudan has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Khartoum.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Antigua and Barbuda

In June 2009 Antigua and Barbuda became a formal member of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) international cooperation organization and the Caribbean oil alliance Petrocaribe. In 2009 Antigua and Barbuda received US$50 million from Venezuela because of the country's membership in this alliance. After American billionaire Allen Stanford's banks failed, Chávez sent financial assistance to Antigua and Barbuda, which was dependent on Stanford's investment when his business empire collapsed.[2]

  Argentina See Argentina–Venezuela relations
Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Néstor Kirchner of Argentina, 2005

US$1.4 billion was traded between Argentina and Venezuela during 2008.[3] Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Caracas on 11 August 2009.[4] Kirchner called it a "bilateral meeting [...] aimed at deepening our vital integration."[4] The two presidents signed deals intended to see Venezuela import leather, machinery and poultry from Argentina, whilst a rice importation agreement was described by the Argentine President as "the biggest ever in Argentina's history".[4] The deals were said to be worth $1.1 billion.[3] The meeting coincided with visits to Venezuela by dozens of Argentine businessmen.[4]

  • Argentina has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Buenos Aires.
  Belize 25 April 1989
  Brazil See Brazil–Venezuela relations
Meeting of South American Presidents in Brazil in 2009. Lula da Silva of Brazil is in the center, and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela furthest right.

In 2001 Venezuela and Brazil opened a high-voltage power line between the two countries to supply electricity from Venezuela to energy-starved northern Brazil. The line provides cheap hydro-electric power to Brazil and also earns Venezuela tens of millions of dollars every year.[6]

In 2007 Brazil and Venezuela pledged closer trade and energy ties, including building a new oil refinery in Brazil. The $4.5bn refinery scheme to be completed in 2010 will be 40%-owned by Venezuela's state oil firm PDVSA, while Brazil's national oil firm Petrobras will hold the rest.[7]

Venezuela purchased 1,500 tonnes of coffee beans from Brazil on 10 August 2009 after falling out with Colombia over its decision to allow an increased United States presence in its military bases.[3]

On 18 June 2015, a mission of Brazilian senators led by Sen. Aécio Neves (mostly composed by opposition legislatives to Pres. Dilma Rousseff) flew to Caracas with interest to visit Venezuelan prisoner Leopoldo López and families of victims of the protests against President Nicolás Maduro. About a kilometer away from the Simón Bolívar International Airport, the vehicle carrying the senators was prevented to continue the trip after being stopped and surrounded by government protesters.[8] Finally, the Brazilian senators decided to return to Brazil on the same day. The legislative houses Câmara dos Deputados and Senado Federal of Brazil issued motions of rejection to such events. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil issued an Official Note expressing his annoyance with the "unacceptable hostile acts" that occurred that day and asking for official explanations from the Government of Venezuela.

During the Brazilian government of President Jair Bolsonaro since 2019, Brazil has cut the relations with the current Venezuelan leftwing and disputed government of president Nicolás Maduro. Brazil downgraded its diplomatic relations with the ruling Venezuelan government. Brazil has recognised Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate President of Venezuela.[9]

  • Brazil has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Brasília.
  Canada January 1953 See Canada–Venezuela relations

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.

Venezuela is Canada's second largest export market in South America for goods as well as for services.[10] In 2006, goods exports from Canada increased by 14% and the cumulative stock of Canadian investments in Venezuela amounted to $574 million.[11]

In January 2019, Canada recognized and endorsed Juan Guaidó's position at the interim President of Venezuela.[12] In June 2019, Canada closed its embassy in Caracas due to diplomatic visas unable to be renewed under President Maduro's government.[13]

  • Canada is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Ottawa.
  Chile See Chile–Venezuela relations
  • Chile has an embassy in Caracas and a consulate in Puerto Ordaz.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Santiago.
  Colombia See Colombia-Venezuela relations

In the 20th century the relationship with Colombia evolved with ups and downs, mostly regarding the Colombia-Venezuela maritime territory dispute over the Gulf of Venezuela. The lowest point in the relationship occurred on 19 August 1987 after the Colombian Corvette ARC Caldas (FM-52) trespassed into disputed waters and then President of Venezuela, Jaime Lusinchi ordered the Venezuelan Air Force to the area and coerced the Colombians. The standoff was resolved through diplomatic channels but the dispute remained.[14]

One of the main issues has been the large wave of Colombians that migrated to Venezuela in the 1970s and 1980s, working primarily in low-end jobs. Many Colombian immigrants were imprisoned in Venezuela under deplorable conditions, faced discrimination and endured human rights violations.[15] The Colombian armed conflict has also provoked impasses between the two countries. Military illegal incursions by the two countries' military forces into each other's territory have been frequent since the conflict in Colombia escalated in the 1980s, which subsequently triggered forced displacements in Colombia and into Venezuela. Illegally armed groups also trespassed into Venezuela to commit crimes. Contraband flows from one territory to another depending on supply and demand along the shared porous border of 1,375 miles (2,210 km). Illegal products range from gasoline, drugs and weapons to stolen cars. Since 2002, the relationship between Colombia and Venezuela has fluctuated due to the ideological differences that separate Hugo Chávez and Álvaro Uribe. The relationship between the two countries once again reached a low point in November 2007 after a failed effort to achieve a humanitarian exchange, causing the relations to freeze.[16]

Following the revelation in 2009 that Colombia wanted to allow the United States to use it military bases, relations between Colombia and Venezuela soured, with Venezuela opting to shop in countries such as Argentina and Brazil.[3] Trade between the two countries was worth $7 billion in 2008.[3] In August 2009 Venezuela recalled an envoy from Bogotá over accusations Venezuela had provided arms to Colombian rebels, halted the import of Colombian cars and banned a Colombian energy firm from Venezuela's oil-rich Orinoco region.[17]

In 2010 the 2010 Colombia-Venezuela diplomatic crisis saw Colombia and Venezuela recall their ambassadors amid allegations by Colombia that Venezuela was actively permitting and supporting FARC/ELN camps on its side of the border. Assisted by UNASUR mediation, the crisis was resolved shortly after the inauguration of new Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. Santos made efforts to repair his relationship with Chávez in the months following taking office.[18]

  Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in San José.
  Cuba See Cuba–Venezuela relations

Relations between Cuba and Venezuela have significantly improved during the Presidency of Hugo Chávez. Chávez formed a major alliance with Cuba's leadership and significant trade relationship with Cuba since his election in 1999.[19] Chávez described Cuban President Fidel Castro as his mentor[20] and called Cuba "a revolutionary democracy".[21]

The bilateral relation includes development aid, joint business ventures, large financial transactions, exchange of energy resources (for example discounted Venezuelan oil in exchange for Cuban doctors) and information technology, and cooperation in the fields of intelligence service and military. Both nations are delivering assets which are inexpensive for the sending country but of high significance for the receiving country.[22]

  • Cuba has an embassy in Caracas and a consulate-general in Valencia.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Havana.
  Dominican Republic
  • Dominican Republic has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Santo Domingo.
  Ecuador See Ecuador–Venezuela relations

Diplomatic ties trace back to the Spanish colonization of the Americas. With the independence both countries united under the Gran Colombia along with New Granada (then Colombia and Panama). After the dissolution of the Gran Colombia, Ecuador named Pedro Gual Escandon as plenipotentiary minister with the main task of resolving the debt acquired while part of the Gran Colombia union as well as to establish diplomatic relations with the New Granada and Venezuela. On 4 August 1852 Venezuela sent a diplomatic delegation in Quito and named José Julián Ponce as finance administrator.

The relations remained cordial and entered into a second period between 1910 and 1963 with two diplomatic incidents occurring in 1928 and 1955. Ecuador and Venezuela strengthened ties in politics, diplomacy and military.

  • Ecuador has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Quito and a consulate-general in Guayaquil.
  El Salvador
  • El Salvador has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in San Salvador.
  • In November 2019, the Venezuelan government expelled El Salvador's diplomats in a reciprocal move because El Salvador had expelled Venezuelan diplomats. [23]
  Guyana See Guyana–Venezuela relations

There is a long-standing territorial dispute between the two countries over the area of Orinoco basin. Venezuela claimed more than half of the territory of the British colony of Guyana at the time of the Latin American wars of independence, a dispute that was settled by arbitration in 1899. In 1962 Venezuela declared that it would no longer abide by the arbitration decision, which ceded mineral-rich territory in the Orinoco basin to Guyana. The area is called Guayana Esequiba by Venezuela. A border commission was set up in 1966 with representatives from Guyana, Venezuela and Great Britain, but failed to reach agreement. Venezuela vetoed Guyana's bid to become a member of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 1967. In 1969 Venezuela backed an abortive uprising in the disputed area.

Under intense diplomatic pressure, Venezuela agreed in 1970 to a 12-year moratorium on the dispute with the Protocol of Port-of-Spain. In 1981, Venezuela refused to renew the protocol. However, with changes to the governments of both countries relations improved, to the extent that in 1990 Venezuela sponsored Guyana's bid for OAS membership.[24][25]

  • Guyana has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Georgetown.
  Haiti See Haiti–Venezuela relations
  • Haiti has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Port-au-Prince.
  • Honduras has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
  Jamaica See Jamaica–Venezuela relations
  • Jamaica has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Kingston.
  Mexico 1842 See Mexico–Venezuela relations

Historically the two countries have had good diplomatic relations. Ever since both countries became important players in the oil industry, some competitive tensions arose, eventually leading to disputes after Mexico signed an agreement to join NAFTA. During President Vicente Fox's term in the early 2000s, ties between the two countries became critically strained to the point of recalling one another's ambassadors. It has been clear that diplomatic relations between both countries are not indefinitely severed, in recent years numerous groups and organizations, both in holistic and in land are working to restore the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, as they are of strategic economic and cultural importance within the region. In August 2007, after two years of diplomatic absence in either country, normal relations were re-established with the appointment of former foreign minister Roy Chaderton as Venezuela's envoy in Mexico City and the transfer of Jesús Mario Chacón Carrillo, formerly Mexican ambassador to Colombia, to Caracas.[26]

  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Managua.
  • Panama has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Panama City.
  Paraguay See Paraguay–Venezuela relations

Relations between Paraguay and Venezuela have improved since Paraguay's new leftist President Fernando Lugo was inaugurated, a change from 61 unbroken years of Colorado party rule. President Lugo supported Venezuela's entry into Mercosur; however, the Colorado Party's influence in Paraguay's Congress and Senate did not support the move.[citation needed]

Paraguay and Venezuela have restarted negotiations on an unpaid debt of $250 million owed by Paraguayan oil company Petropar to its counterpart Petróleos de Venezuela after the Presidents of Paraguay and Venezuela met to deal with the financing.[29]

In September 2009 Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo revoked plans for US troops to hold joint military exercises and development projects. President Lugo referenced strong regional opposition from countries such as Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador to the expansion of US military bases in Colombia in his decision.[30]

On 17 October 2012, Venezuela's government expelled Paraguay's remaining diplomats from the country. Charge d'affaires Victor Casartelli said that he and three other Paraguayan diplomats in Caracas were told leave within three days. This follows a dispute between the countries that began in June 2012 with the congressional impeachment and ouster of Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo.

  • Peru has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Lima.
  • Suriname has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Paramaribo.
  Trinidad and Tobago See Trinidad and Tobago-Venezuela Relations

To the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela has been a neighbor initially because of the geographical location of the two countries, however over time the geographical and human resources of both countries have allowed for changes in the relationship. Also both countries have had a longstanding diplomatic relationship whereby an embassy was established as far back as 1987 if not earlier.

One of the articles of The Double Taxation Relief (Venezuela)Order 1999 – (Legal Notice #348 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) allowed for the protection for the fiscal privileges of diplomatic agents or consular officers.[31] The Double Taxation Relief (Venezuela)Order 1999 was issued in the English and Spanish languages with each version being equally authentic. Attached to the Convention was a Protocol, both of which (Convention and Protocol) were done on 31st day of July 1996, and both of which were signed by Ralph Maraj for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and by Angel Burelli Rivas for the Government of the Republic of Venezuela. The Protocol included the following details "M Look Loy Acting Secretary to Cabinet on 30th day of December 1997".

The purpose of the Protocol was for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion and Avoidance with respect to taxes on income and for the Encouragement of International Trade and Investment and included four (4) clauses which "shall be an integral part of the Convention."[31]

The Venezuelan embassy which is located on Victoria Avenue in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, is in close proximity to the offices of BP, REPSOL and some of the other O&G companies which operate in Trinidad and Tobago. The modest building and teams have served as a reminder of who the people of Venezuela are to the visitors to the country of Trinidad and Tobago.

Information on the country of Venezuela was sought by many a student and school teacher who needed to boost their knowledge of the culture and the language of Spain and Venezuela in preparation for examinations at the Ordinary Level of GCE and currently CXC.

  • Trinidad and Tobago has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Port of Spain.
  United States See United States–Venezuela relations

United States-Venezuela relations have traditionally been close, characterized by an important trade and investment relationship and cooperation in combating the production and transit of illegal drugs. Recently, there has been tension between the two countries since the election of Presidents Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and George W. Bush of the United States and strong criticism of US politics and military activity; the Socialist United Party was the only group which condemned the killing of Osama Bin Laden.[32]

The Roosevelt Corollary and Dollar DiplomacyEdit

The Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903 saw a naval blockade of several months imposed against Venezuela by Britain, Germany and Italy over President Cipriano Castro's refusal to pay foreign debts and damages suffered by European citizens in a recent Venezuelan civil war. Castro assumed that the United States' Monroe Doctrine would see the US prevent European military intervention, but at the time the US saw the Doctrine as concerning European seizure of territory, rather than intervention per se. Though United States Secretary of State Elihu Root characterized Castro as "a crazy brute", President Roosevelt was concerned with the prospects of penetration into the region by the German Empire. With Castro failing to back down, US pressure and increasingly negative British and American press reaction to the affair, the blockading nations agreed to a compromise, but maintained the blockade during negotiations over the details. This incident was a major stimulus behind the Roosevelt Corollary and the subsequent U.S. policy of Dollar Diplomacy in Latin America.

During the presidency of Juan Vicente Gómez, petroleum was discovered under Lake Maracaibo. Gómez managed to deflate Venezuela's staggering debt by granting concessions to foreign oil companies, which won him the support of the United States and the European powers. The growth of the domestic oil industry strengthened the economic ties between the U.S. and Venezuela.

Bolivarian RevolutionEdit

Hugo Chávez meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Summit of the Americas, April 2009.

After Hugo Chávez was elected President of Venezuela, the long-standing and close diplomatic relationship between Venezuela and the United States deteriorated. Chávez's stance as an OPEC price hawk raised the price of oil for the United States. His public friendship and significant trade relationship with Cuba conflicted with the U.S. foreign policy of isolating Cuba. Long-running ties between the U.S. and Venezuelan militaries were severed. Chávez was intensely critical of U.S. economic and foreign policy: in Iraq, Haiti, Kosovo, Free Trade Area of the Americas and in numerous other areas. Chavez accused the United States of acting like an empire.[33] Chávez also accused the US of involvement in, or at least foreknowledge of, the 2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt.

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.

According to Business Insider's edition of July 2015, Venezuela was seeking to re-establish diplomatic ties with the United States of America, "Maduro made the first move in March (2015) – around three months after Washington and Havana announced on 17 Dec they were seeking to restore diplomatic ties – by requesting a "direct channel of communication" with U.S. President Barack Obama and the State Department, said the official.[34]

  Uruguay See Uruguay–Venezuela relations
  • Uruguay has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Montevideo.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Armenia 30 October 1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 30 October 1993. Armenia has an honorary consulate in Caracas.

  Azerbaijan See Azerbaijan–Venezuela relations
  China 28 June 1974 See China-Venezuela relations
Countries which signed cooperation documents related to the Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2008 the governments of Venezuela and the People's Republic of China launched their first joint space satellite, named Venesat-1. Venezuela's leader Hugo Chávez said the satellite would be a tool of integration for Latin America and the Caribbean regions by saying "This satellite is not for us but for the people of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is a further step towards independence", he said, adding that the project would break the mold of "technological illiteracy."[35] In 2009, China entered into a partnership with Venezuela to launch a railway company in Venezuela which will be 40% controlled by the China Railways Engineering Corporation (CREC) and the remainder by Venezuela. Venezuela outlined the role of the venture as one which would link Venezuela's oil producing regions and agricultural farming areas[36]

Also established are military-technological ties with the acquisition of two squadrons (24) of Chinese-built Karakorum-8 trainer jets and ground radars, signalling a greater Chinese involvement in Latin America.[37] Further trade agreements worth $12bn were signed in February 2009, and Venezuela's first cell phone factory, built with Chinese support, was inaugurated.[38] Oil exports to China are set to increase substantially.[39] In September 2008 Venezuela signed a series of energy co-operation deals with China with the President of Venezuela stating that oil exports could rise threefold by 2012, to one million barrels a day.[40]

In February 2009 Venezuela and China agreed to double their joint investment fund to $12 billion and signed agreements to boost co-operation which include increasing oil exports from Venezuela, China's fourth biggest oil provider. An oil refinery is planned to be built in China to handle Venezuelan heavy crude from the Orinoco basin. "It is part of a strategic alliance" Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said, after meeting the visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping who stated that "our co-operation is highly beneficial".[41] In September 2009 Venezuela announced a new $16bn deal with China to drill for oil in a joint venture with PDVSA to produce 450,000 barrels per day (72,000 m3/d) of extra heavy crude. Hugo Chávez stated that "In addition, there will be a flood of technology into the country, with China going to build drilling platforms, oil rigs, railroads, houses."[42]

When Hugo Chávez came to power, trade with China had peaked under $200mn but since then it has jumped to nearly $10bn. Chinese officials say that Venezuela has now become the biggest recipient of its investments in Latin America. Venezuela has also embarked on a programme of cultural and scientific exchange with China.[43]

  Georgia See Georgia–Venezuela relations
  India 1 October 1959 See India–Venezuela relations

India's country run ONGC Videsh Limited oil and gas exploration and production company helped certify heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco river belt.[44][45] In the year 2010, A consortium led by Indian state-owned oil companies also won a global bid to claim 40% stake in an important oil block in Venezuela, giving India the capability of producing 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day in its peak time.[46]

Diplomatic relations between India and Venezuela were established on 1 October 1959.[47] India maintains an embassy in Caracas, while Venezuela maintains an embassy in New Delhi.

There have been several visits by heads of state and government, and other high-level officials between the countries. President Hugo Chávez visited New Delhi on 4–7 March 2005.[47] Chávez met with Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The two countries signed six agreements including one to establish a joint commission to promote bilateral relations and another on cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro visited India to attend the First Meeting of the India-CELAC Troika Foreign Ministers meeting in New Delhi on 7 August 2012.[48]

The Election Commission of India (ECI) and the National Electoral Council (CNE) of Venezuela signed an MoU during a visit by Indian Election Commissioner V S Sampath to Caracas in 2012. Minister of State for Corporate Affairs visited Venezuela to attend the state funeral of President Chavez in March 2013.[48] The President and Prime Minister of India expressed condolences on the death of Chávez. The Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, observed a minute's silence to mark his death. Ambassador Smita Purushottam represented India at the swearing-in ceremony of Chávez's successor Nicolás Maduro on 19 April 2013.[49]

Citizens of Venezuela are eligible for scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.[48][50]

India's pharmaceutical major, Cipla has 120 medications approved to market in Venezuela, and made nearly $15 million in revenue the year 2006.[44]

  Indonesia 10 October 1959 See Indonesia–Venezuela relations

On 12 August 2000, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez visited Jakarta and paid courtesy call to Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid. Subsequently, in the next month on 26–28 September 2000 Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid visited Caracas to attend the OPEC summit, and paid a courtesy call to Hugo Chávez.[51] Venezuela has donated US$2 million for the relief effort promptly after the tsunami devastated Aceh in 2004. Venezuela also promoted education in Aceh by establishing Institute of Polytechnic of Venezuela-Indonesia in Aceh inaugurated in 2009.[52]

  Iran See Iran–Venezuela relations

The presidents of Venezuela and Iran in 2009, President Hugo Chávez and President Ahmadinejad, respectively, both described themselves on the world stage as opposed to US imperialism. Citing this commonality of opinion, they regarded each other as allies, and they embarked on a number of initiatives together. For example, on 6 January 2007, the two announced that they would use some money from a previously-announced $2bn joint fund to invest in other countries that were "attempting to liberate themselves from the imperialist yoke", in Chávez's words.[53]

  Israel See Israel–Venezuela relations

Israel-Venezuela relations were historically strong, but have soured under the leadership of President Hugo Chávez. In 2006, Israel-Venezuela relations deteriorated further with regards to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, and also due to Hugo Chávez's foreign policy relating to Iran and Israel's political opposition to it. Chavez also positioned himself on the world stage as opposed to American foreign policy — the US and Israel are partners in defense and international relations, specifically relating to the Middle East. Currently, in the wake of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Venezuela has broken all diplomatic ties with the state of Israel, condemning its actions.

Venezuela voted in favor of Israeli membership in the United Nations on 27 November 1947 and established diplomatic ties. During the Six-Day War many Venezuelan Jews went to Israel to fight for Israel.[54]

When the United Nations passed General Assembly Resolution 3379 on 10 November 1975, "determin[ing] that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination", Venezuela abstained.[55] The resolution was later revoked. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres visited Caracas in January 1995, during the second Caldera administration, to "cement ties with friendly countries, and to deepen cooperation in areas of mutual benefit". Venezuela's Foreign Minister noted that "The reception that was given for Foreign Minister Peres was unprecedented." [56]

President Hugo Chávez broke off diplomatic ties and expelled the Israeli ambassador after the 2008–2009 Gaza War which left around 1,200 Palestinians dead and over 5000 wounded.[57] On 27 April 2009, Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolás Maduro met with Palestinian National Authority foreign affairs minister Riyad al-Maliki in Caracas, where formal diplomatic relations were established between the two.[58]

In January 2019, Israel recognizied opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela.[59]

  Japan See Japan–Venezuela relations

In 1999, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez made a three-day trip to Japan. Japanese banks Marubeni and Mitsui loaned Venezuela $3.5 billion in 2007 to be repaid in oil. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation provided $1.89 billion in loans to support the banks.

Hugo Chávez made another two-day trip in 2009, during which he met Prime Minister Taro Aso. During the trip they agreed to cooperate on oil and gas developments and form a committee to study financing development and exploration. Japan and Venezuela signed a dozen other accords as part of Chavez's visit.[60]

In February 2019, Japan recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuelan legitimate president.[61]

  • Kuwait has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Kuwait City.
  • Lebanon has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Beirut.
  Malaysia See Malaysia–Venezuela relations

Malaysia has had an embassy in Caracas since 1990,[62] while Venezuela has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Diplomatic relations were established 18 December 1986.[62]


Myanmar and Venezuela have diplomatic relations. The Ambassador of Venezuela in Vietnam is accredited to Myanmar.[63]

  North Korea 1974 See North Korea–Venezuela relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1965 and Venezuela recognized North Korea as a sovereign state in 1974. Relations have gradually improved under the governments of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. Venezuela is one of the five countries in Latin America that has an embassy of North Korea along with Peru, Cuba, Brazil and Mexico.


The two sides agreed to discuss the friendly diplomatic relations existing between the two states and in particular the modalities for negotiating the agreement on avoidance of double taxation, but also promote economic cooperation, investment and further strengthen economic relations.The Ambassador of Venezuela in Iran is accredited to Pakistan.

  Palestine 27 April 2009

Both countries established diplomatic relations on 27 April 2009. Palestine has an embassy in Caracas.

  Philippines See Philippines–Venezuela relations

Venezuela and the Philippines share a Hispanic heritage and relations between the two countries has been warm and friendly since it formal establishment of ties on 27 August 1968. Venezuela has an embassy in Manila and the Philippines has an embassy in Caracas.[64]

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez made a state visit in the Philippines in 1999 and signed the RP-Venezuela Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Investment.[65]

Venezuela is the Philippines' 5th largest trading partner in South America with Philippine exports increasing to 38 million dollars in 2004, compared to just 1.6 million dollars of 2003. The Philippines is willing to work with Venezuela in both energy and power industries.[64]

  Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Riyadh.
  South Korea 29 April 1965

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela began on 29 April 1965.[66]

  • Syria has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Damascus.
  Taiwan 1974 See Taiwan-Venezuela relations

Relations have almost been nonexistent since Venezuela recognized the People's Republic of China in 1974, although unofficial relations have been preserved through a Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Caracas. In the 2000s, increasing partnership between the government of the Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and People's Republic of China has led to a more overt rejection of the Republic of China's legitimacy by Venezuela.

  Turkey 1950[67] See Turkey–Venezuela relations
  • Turkey has an embassy in Caracas and an Honorary Consulate in Maracaibo.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Ankara and a Consulate General in Istanbul.
  • Trade volume between the two countries was 150 million USD USD in 2019 (Venezuelan exports/imports: 20/130 million USD.[67]
  Vietnam 1989 See Venezuela–Vietnam relations

Vietnam and Venezuela set up diplomatic ties in 1989. Since 2006 Vietnam has had an embassy in Caracas and Venezuela has an embassy in Hanoi. Though bilateral trade was $11.7 million in 2007[68] relations show "great potential".[69] Over the past ten years, the two countries have witnessed new developments in various fields, including politics, economics, culture and society, particularly in the oil and gas industry.[70]

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez visited Vietnam in 2006 and since then his government stepped up bilateral relations with the country, which also included receiving the Communist Party General Secretary, Nông Đức Mạnh in 2007. Petróleos de Venezuela and Petrovietnam also announced a number of joint projects following the 2006 visit, including Petrovietnam being given a concession in the Orinoco basin and an agreement to transport Venezuelan oil to Vietnam, where the two would together build an oil refinery that Vietnam lacks. On the 2006 visit Chavez praised Vietnam's revolutionary history as he attacked the United States for its "imperialist" crimes in the Vietnam War. On the 2008 visit Vietnamese President Nguyễn Minh Triết returned similar comments as he lauded a group of Venezuelans who captured a US soldier during the Vietnam War in an unsuccessful bid to prevent the execution of a Vietnamese revolutionary.[68] The two leaders also signed a deal for a $200 million joint fund and 15 cooperation projects.[71]

President Triết arrived in Caracas on 18 November 2008 for a two-day official visit on an invitation from Chávez.[72] Triết hailed Vietnam's friendship with Venezuela as he sought to focus on tying up oil and gas deals, including a joint development fund. He said that "We (Vietnamese) are grateful for the support and solidarity that they (Venezuelans) have offered us until now." Triet said.

In March 2008 an agreement was signed to cooperate in tourism between Vietnam and Venezuela. President Nguyễn Minh Triết received the PDVSA's Vice President Asdrubal Chavez and stated that oil and gas cooperation would become a typical example of their multi-faceted cooperation.[73] In 2009 the Venezuelan government approved $46.5 million for an agricultural development project with Vietnam.[74]


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Andorra 7 March 1996
  • Andorra does not have an accreditation to Venezuela.
  • Venezuela is accredited to Andorra from its embassy in Paris, France.
  • Austria is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Havana, Cuba.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Vienna.
  • Belarus has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Minsk.
  Denmark 26 March 1838 See Denmark–Venezuela relations
  • Denmark is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Brasília, Brazil.
  • Venezuela is accredited to Denmark from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Finland is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Venezuela is accredited to Finland from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  France See France–Venezuela relations

France has an embassy in Caracas and Venezuela has an embassy in Paris.[75] During the 1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts, the French Government "immediately signalled its refusal to accept a breakdown in institutional legitimacy.[75] President Hugo Chávez met French President Jacques Chirac on three occasions in October 2002, March 2005 and October 2005.[75][76] In 2007, Chavez visited French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the situation of hostage Ingrid Betancourt held in Colombia.[77][78] In September 2008, Chavez again visited Sarkozy and Chavez said he sought aid from "friendly" countries like France, in exchange for "Venezuelan energy".[79]

In October 2008, the Venezuelan and French Foreign Ministers signed 10 agreements on cooperation including bilateral cooperation on energy, military, telecommunications, tourism and fight against drug trafficking.[80] In 2000, French company Pechiney signed an agreement with the Venezuela government to invest USD 260 million over three years to expand state-owned bauxite and alumina.[81] As of 2005, French oil company Total SA was the largest foreign investor in Venezuela.[82] In 2005, Total commenced negotiations with the Venezuelan Government over a possible US$5 billion project to develop heavy oil in eastern Venezuela.[83] In April 2006, the Venezuelan government seized control of foreign owned oil fields including those operated by Total.[84]

In February 2019, France joined major EU countries and United States in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.[85]

  • Germany has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Berlin and consulates-general in Frankfurt and Hamburg.
  Greece See Greece–Venezuela relations
  • Greece has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Athens.
   Holy See 1869 See Holy See–Venezuela relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1869. The Holy See has a nunciature in Caracas.[86] Venezuela has an embassy in Rome.

There were tensions with the Vatican under the presidency of Hugo Chávez, a president who, while being Catholic, was ideologically influenced by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Simón Bolívar, political thinkers that have historically been opposed to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. Chavez also cited his support for the liberation theology of Leonardo Boff, which Rome had opposed in the 1970s and 1980s.[87]

  Italy 1861 See Italy–Venezuela relations

Bilateral relations between Italy and Venezuela began on 17 March 1856 with the accredition in Naples of a Venezuelan Consulate. In 1857, the first Italian consular office in Venezuela was established in Maracaibo, and in 1859 the second was based in La Guaira, to receive the emigrants from the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in Venezuela. With the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, under Vittorio Emanuele II was signed the treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation on 20 September 1861, still in force. Venezuela was the first country in Latin America to recognize the Kingdom of Italy.

The Italian presence in Venezuela takes relevance only in the early XX siecle particularly after the Second World War. Currently the Italian community in Venezuela is the most consistent in Latin America after the one of Brazil and Argentina with around 200,000 residents (although only 115,000 are registered in the consular registers). However, it is estimated that the community of Italian origin exceeds one million people.

The bilateral relations between Italy and Venezuela increased when president Hugo Chávez signed the Framework Agreement on Economic, Industrial, Infrastructure and Development Cooperation between the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Government of the Italian Republic in 2001, From which established the celebration of the Italo-Venezuelan Council.

  • Italy has an embassy in Caracas and a consulate in Maracaibo.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Rome and consulates-general in Milan and Naples.
  Netherlands 1921

Diplomatic relations between the governments of the Netherlands and Venezuela were established in 1921 following a treaty to that effect concluded at Caracas on 11 May 1920.[88] Relations between the two governments were strained, since the Venezuelan navy seized some Dutch ships during the First World War –even though the Dutch government remained neutral – and in that treaty, the Venezuelan government agreed to pay the Dutch government 20,000 Bolivars as indemnity for seizure of those ships.

The ABC Islands, all dependencies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands lie less than 15 miles (24 km) off Venezuela's shores. Chávez described himself as a fierce opponent of "colonialism" and as such, was opposed to a large Western power having what he perceived as undue influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. The most populous of these territories are the island is Curaçao, whose demographics are not like that of Venezuela and much of South America.[citation needed] Chávez called for "revolutionary independence" for these Islands, a proposition that has disturbed many islanders and high-ranking Dutch military officials in The Hague. This, combined with Chávez's recent alliances with nations hostile to the Western world, has prompted the Dutch government to position Dutch naval equipment on several unpopulated islands near Venezuela.

In January 2010, the Dutch PM Balkenende dismissed the allegations of Chávez that US war planes were being deployed as part of a planned attack. During a television interview Chávez had said "We accuse the American and the Dutch governments of provoking Venezuela and planning aggression". He showed a photograph of a US P3 warplane as proof. According to Balkenende the planes were being used to combat drug trafficking and the picture had been "taken from Wikipedia" and was dated from 2002 .[89]

  Poland 1933 See Poland–Venezuela relations
  • Poland has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Warsaw.

Portugal and Venezuela meet regularly in the Ibero-American Summit and the Venezuela-Portugal Mixed Commission of Bilateral Monitoring created in 2008.[90] Economic, diplomatic and friendship ties between Venezuela and Portugal developed significantly during Chávez presidency. Chávez also acknowledged the importance of the large Portuguese community in Venezuela.[91] During his term, he made four official visits at Portugal.[92] In 2018, Portugal and Venezuela signed 22 bilateral agreements with each other, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza described Portugal as a fundamental ally in support of the Bolivarian government during the "economic siege that the United States has waged against Venezuela".[93]

  • Romania has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Bucharest.
  Russia 3 March 1945 See Russia–Venezuela relations

Venezuela remains as one of Russia's most important trading and military allies in Latin America (after Brazil), making a strong bond in the bilateral relations between the two nations. Relations have become increasingly closer with Venezuela, the most recent visible results of which being Venezuela becoming the third nation to officially recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and Russia approving a $2 billion loan to Venezuela for arms in September 2009.[94]

  • Serbia is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Brasília, Brazil.
  • Venezuela is accredited to Serbia from its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
  • In 2007, Serbia exported goods worth €33,000 to Venezuela, while Venezuelan exports totaled €158,000.
  • After the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez announced that Venezuela does not recognise Kosovo's independence on the grounds that it has been achieved through U.S. pressure and criticised a recent political movement calling out for a more autonomous Zulia state. He said "This cannot be accepted. It's a very dangerous precedent for the entire world.".[95] On 24 March 2008, Chavez accused Washington of trying to "weaken Russia" by supporting independence for Kosovo. He called Kosovo's new leader, Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, a "terrorist" put in power by the U.S. and noted that the former rebel leader's nom de guerre was "The Snake".[96] Chavez had strongly opposed the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999 when he first became president.
  Spain See Spain–Venezuela relations

In January 2019, Spain was the first leading EU country to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.[97]

  • Sweden is represented in Venezuela through its embassy in Bogotá, Colombia. Consulates-generales in Caracas and consulate in Porlamar, Isla Margarita.[104]
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Stockholm.
  United Kingdom

In February 2019, United Kingdom recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.[105]

  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in London.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  • Australia is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Bogotá, Colombia
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Canberra.
  New Zealand
  • New Zealand is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Venezuela is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.
  Solomon Islands

In October 2008 Solomons Prime Minister Derek Sikua moved to establish economic relations with Venezuela, hoping to benefit from comparatively cheap Venezuelan oil. In the context of the financial crisis of 2007–2008, it was believed that it would bring down the price of oil for Solomon Islanders, and boost the economy if the Solomons imported crude Venezuelan oil, refined it and then exported it to neighbouring countries.[106]

Multilateral OrganizationsEdit

Organisation of American StatesEdit

By virtue of its geographical location, Venezuela became one of the members of the Organisation of American States (OAS) on "April 30, 1948" when they signed the "CHARTER OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (A-41)".[107] On 21 December 1951, the treaty was ratified by Venezuela "IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 145 OF THE CHARTER".[108]

In looking at the treaty, one would note that there are three (3) parts with twenty-two chapters in total to the Treaty of the OAS.[109] According to the OAS website. "Chapter XXI RATIFICATION AND ENTRY INTO FORCE, Article 141" the OAS Treaty or Charter "shall be registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations through the General Secretariat"[109]

In accordance with "Chapter XIII THE INTER-AMERICAN COUNCIL FOR INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT- Article 94 – The purpose of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development is to promote cooperation among the American States for the purpose of achieving integral development and, in particular, helping to eliminate extreme poverty, in accordance with the standards of the Charter, especially those set forth in Chapter VII with respect to the economic, social, educational, cultural, scientific, and technological fields."[110] To a large extent over the years, the people of Trinidad and Tobago have benefited from the generosity of the Venezuelans, whether it was due to their innate ability to give and share or whether it was provided by the articles of the Treaty as a means to share and for that they are grateful.

On 26 April 2017, Venezuela announced its intention to withdraw from the OAS.[111] Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said that President Nicolás Maduro plans to publicly renounce Venezuela's membership on 27 April 2017. It will take two years for the country to formally leave. During this period, the country does not plan on participating in the OAS.[112]

Summits of the AmericasEdit

"The Summits of the Americas are institutionalized gatherings of the heads of state and government of the Western Hemisphere where leaders discuss common policy issues, affirm shared values and commit to concerted actions at the national and regional level to address continuing and new challenges faced in the Americas.[113] To date there have been seven Summits of the Americas. There have also been at least two Special Meetings which were held between 1996 and 2004.

"At the Third Summit," which was held in Quebec, Canada in 2001 "leaders instructed their foreign ministers to prepare an Inter-American Democratic Charter which was adopted on September 11, 2001 in Lima".[113]

The Fifth Summit of the Americas was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 2009 was attended by Hugo Chávez on behalf of Venezuela. Also in attendance were Prime Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago and President Barack Obama of the United States of America.

The Seventh Summit of the Americas was held in Panama City, Panama on 10–11 April 2015.[114]

Peru will host the Eighth Summit of the Americas in 2018.[114]

Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)Edit

With Venezuela having tribes of indigenous persons, given the geographical location of the country, recent developments in the oil and gas sector internationally and offshore, (such as Eliza I and II, the developments offshore of Suriname) the contributions of the Venezuelans to the OAS with respect to this area, that is, indigenous people may be significant going forward.[115]

The position of the OAS with respect to indigenous persons appears to be developing over the years. The following statements appear to capture the position of the OAS with respect to the ILSA :"The "OAS has supported and participated in the organisation of Indigenous Leaders Summits of Americas (ILSA)" according to the OAS's website. The most recent "statement made by the Heads of State of the hemisphere was in the Declaration of Commitments of Port of Spain in 2009 – Paragraph 86" according to the OAS's website."[116]

The Draft American Declaration of the Rights of the Indigenous Persons appears to be a working document. The last "Meeting for Negotiations in the Quest for Consensus on this area appeared to be Meeting Number (18) eighteen and is listed as being held in May 2015 according to the website.[117]

Other international organisations to which Venezuela belongsEdit

"In the democratic era, Venezuela has attempted to fulfill the principles of Simon Bolivar's ideals through a variety of means. It maintained active membership in the United Nations (UN) and its related agencies, other than this; the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Organization of American States (OAS) and its related entities, and a host of other world and hemispheric organizations. In all these forums, Venezuela consistently aligned itself with other democracies" Venezuela and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the related agencies of the UN such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.[118]

Betancourt DoctrineEdit

"The Betancourt Doctrine", named after one of the first presidents of Venezuela's democratic era, Rómulo Betancourt "whereby Venezuela refused to maintain diplomatic relations with governments formed as a result of military coups, was adhered to by both administrations (first two presidents of Venezuela's democratic era). Although the doctrine was much praised, it gradually isolated Venezuela as most other Latin American nations became dominated by nonelected regimes."[119]

International disputesEdit

Border disputeEdit

Venezuela claims most of Guyana west of the Essequibo River, in a dispute which dates back to the early nineteenth century and which saw the Venezuela Crisis of 1895. It also has a maritime boundary dispute with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela. The country also has an active maritime boundary dispute with Dominica over the Isla Aves archipelago located in the Caribbean.

See alsoEdit


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