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World > South America > Venezuela > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Venezuela - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
President Chávez has promoted his 'Bolivarian Revolution' as a model for other countries to follow. The policy calls for the establishment of a 'multi-polar' world devoid of U.S. influence and for greater integration among developing countries. Venezuela is currently advocating regional integration through its PetroCaribe and PetroSur petroleum initiatives, the creation of a South American Community of Nations, and the establishment of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (a social integration project proposed by President Chavez as an alternative to the Free Trade Area of the Americas). In April 2006, President Chávez announced he was withdrawing Venezuela from the Andean Community trade bloc. In July 2006, Venezuela officially joined the Southern Common Market, MERCOSUR. Before it can become a full member of MERCOSUR, Venezuela must conform to the trade bloc's economic regulations. The Venezuelan Government maintains very close relations with Cuba and advocates an end to Cuba's isolation.

In 2005-06, President Chávez deepened relations with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, by signing multiple economic and social accords and publicly supporting Iran's controversial nuclear program. President Chávez has also reached out to North Korea, Belarus, and Syria. The Venezuelans have also embarked on a worldwide effort to increase their presence in embassies overseas in Africa and Asia.

President Chávez has also launched a major renovation of the Venezuelan Armed Forces by purchasing new advanced weaponry. In 2005-06, Venezuela purchased 100,000 AK-103 rifles from Russia and signed an agreement to construct a rifle and ammunition complex by 2008. Venezuela has also purchased dozens of Russian attack and transport helicopters, and has begun receiving the first of 24 Russian Sukhoi Su-30MK 2-seat fighters. Venezuela has longstanding border disputes with Colombia-aggravated most recently by the capture of a Colombian insurgent leader inside Venezuela--and Guyana, but seeks in general to resolve them peacefully. Bilateral commissions have been established by Venezuela and Colombia to address a range of pending issues, including resolution of the maritime boundary in the Gulf of Venezuela. Relations with Guyana are complicated by Venezuela's claim to roughly three-quarters of Guyana's territory. Since 1987, the two countries have held exchanges on the boundary under the 'good offices' of the United Nations.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Venezuelan Bolivar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Venezuelan Bolivar Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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