Venezuela - US Relations
The goal of the Embassy of the United States in Venezuela is to deepen ties of The Government of the United States seeks to improve bilateral relations with. The bilateral relationship between the United States of America and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been characterized by an important. Understanding the economy, culture, and society of Venezuela will assist in your research of the country's relations with the. United States and abroad.
Counterinsurgency training provided by the United States contributed to the successful quelling of the insurgency by the late s.
During the s, Venezuela and the United States followed more divergent paths with regard to security matters. The global strategy of containing communism drew the United States into a debacle in Vietnam. As the prestige and perceived influence of the United States waned, lesser powers such as Venezuela moved to pursue policies of independent outreach to the Third World.
Although largely political in nature, Venezuela's relations among Third World nations had distinct security connotations as well, seeking as they did to promote development within a democratic framework that would yield a broader market for oil exports.
By the s, Venezuela had articulated such a significant range of differences with the United States regarding security matters--on such issues as intervention in the affairs of other states and the relative influence of external versus internal factors on regional stability--that the kind of close identification of interests that characterized the relationship in the s was no longer workable.
Nevertheless, the two countries continued to share certain basic strategic interests that bound them in a shifting and sometimes uneasy partnership. These shared interests included: Some of these shared interests came to the fore in the debate that preceded the United States sale of F jet fighters to the Venezuelan air force in Despite some concern expressed by such other regional powers as Colombia, the administration of United States president Ronald Reagan pushed for the sale on the grounds that Venezuela needed advanced aircraft to help protect the Caribbean sea-lanes, to secure its oil resources against external attack, and to help secure the approaches to the Panama Canal.
The Reagan administration argued that regional allies such as Venezuela should be encouraged to share strategic responsibilities and to complement United States military forces. Chavez came to power because of the collapse of the traditional parties, because of a discrediting of the previous system, in a sense.
And he was elected president twice, he has a majority of the national assembly, so he's a very popular president and he got there democratically.
And I think that that's why — and, as I say, he thrives on this confrontation with the United States, in fact to increase his popularity among his people. So Miguel Diaz, why this escalating war of words? Well, I think it's mostly coming from Chavez' part. I think he has defined himself in opposition to the U.
Domestically, I think he's trying to solidify his regime. And the way he's trying to do that is by galvanizing his militant support base and by picking a fight with the U.
The Growing Tension Between Venezuela and the United States
Internationally, he wants to replace Castro as the leader of the left. Thus far, I don't think he's succeeded in that effort. I think his support in Latin America is pretty limited. However, the Latin American democratic leadership is not willing at this time to take on Chavez because they have to deal with their own left as well, who are supportive generally of Chavez. So they're in a political predicament to a certain extent. And they're being very weary of taking Chavez on.
Now I think the U. Supposedly, he is involved in Bolivia and other weak democracies to try to sabotage those governments there. There are all types of rumors. So I think it's incumbent upon the administration and those who believe this to actually put the evidence on the table.
Let me get your response to two points that Miguel Diaz made. First, do you agree that this is mostly been from Venezuela's part, that this tit-for-tat hasn't gotten as much response from the United States? Well, I think the United States has responded at times. I would agree that Chavez is the one who really benefits, in a sense, from this. But every time the United States really criticizes him, it makes his day. And he can go on his radio programs and say, "the United States said this about me or that about me.
There was a semi-coup that took place.
The military put in a provisional government, and the United States applauded that. And that of course violates what the United States says its dedication to democratic politics in the region.
Policy & History | U.S. Embassy in Venezuela
And more recently, for example, the United States did not criticize the leader of Ecuador when he twice shut down the Supreme Court, and yet the United States criticizes Chavez, so other leaders in the region see the United States with kind of a double discourse, which has affected the United States' prestige and moral leadership in the region.
And it's related also to such things as Abu Ghraib and the war in Iraq, and things like that. Do you take as seriously as Miguel Diaz does the possibility that the Chavez government may be making mischief elsewhere on the continent? I think he would like to make mischief in the continent. I think he in fact styles himself — and I agree with Miguel on this — as the new leader of the region, that he's going to be the person who is going to represent the dispossessed more than others.
But I also agree that the United States does not get anywhere if it just simply says, "Oh, he's been doing these things and doesn't come up with the proof of it.
Do you yourself believe when that when he calls himself a Fidelista, a follower of Fidel Castro, that it's something more than just being provocative; that he is involved in making — in causing disturbance in other regimes in the continent? Well, there is supposedly over 15, Cubans in Venezuela. His relationship with Castro is more than a political gesture. He's working with Venezuelan personnel to basically arm, in my view, a repressive state.
That's exactly what Castro has done in Cuba with the civil militias that have allowed him to be in power for as long as he has. I think there is no misgiving on my part that he values his relationship with Cuba. He might want to imitate a lot of the things that are going on in Cuba, which are against the interest, in my view, and the will of why the Venezuelans elected him in the first place.
Does this give Chavez the possibility for extending his influence beyond his borders in a way that he never could have dreamed of before? Forging closer relationships with Latin American governments is a key first step.Part 1 – Russia in Latin America: Focus on Venezuela
Unlike in the European Union where countries there have joined forces with the U. Reengagement in the region is badly needed.
More American attention will lead to more understanding and shared goals and principles. Only with renewed partnerships will the U. Although this will be difficult to accomplish, the U.
Michael Hernandez is a Sr. Views expressed are his own.