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World > South America > Venezuela > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Venezuela - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.-VENEZUELAN RELATIONS
U.S.-Venezuelan relations have been tense in recent years. President Hugo Chávez has continuously defined himself in opposition to the United States, using incendiary rhetoric to insult President Bush and senior administration officials. For example, in his September 2006 speech to the UN General Assembly, President Chávez called President Bush 'the Devil' and other offensive names. The United States continues to seek constructive engagement with the Venezuelan Government, focusing on areas of technical cooperation.
Major U.S. interests in Venezuela include promotion of U.S. exports and protection of U.S. investment, preservation of Venezuela's constitutional democracy, closer counter-narcotics cooperation, more vigorous efforts on counterterrorism, and continued access to petroleum.

U.S.-Venezuelan commercial ties are deep. The United States is Venezuela's most important trading partner, representing about a third of imports and approximately 60 percent of Venezuelan exports. In turn, Venezuela is the United States' third-largest export market in Latin America, purchasing U.S. machinery, transportation equipment, agricultural commodities, and auto parts. Venezuela's opening of its petroleum sector to foreign investment in 1996 created extensive trade and investment opportunities for U.S. companies. As a result, Venezuela is one of the top four suppliers of foreign oil to the United States. The Department of State is committed to promoting the interests of U.S. companies in overseas markets. For contact information and a list of government publications, please go to the end of this document.

Venezuela is a minor source country for opium poppy and coca but a major transit country for cocaine and heroin. Money laundering and judicial corruption are major concerns. In 2004 and early 2005, counternarcotics cooperation between the U.S. and Venezuela deteriorated significantly. In March 2005, the Venezuelan National Guard removed its highly experienced members from the U.S.-supported Prosecutor's Drug Task Force. In August 2005, the Government of Venezuela accused the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of espionage and terminated cooperation with the DEA pending negotiation of a new cooperation agreement, which has gone unsigned as of October 2006. President Bush decertified Venezuela on counternarcotics cooperation in 2005 and 2006.

In June 2006, Venezuela was listed at Tier 3 status in the State Department's Report on Trafficking in Persons. Tier 3 status indicates a perceived lack of effort to combat human trafficking.

In May 2006, the Secretary of State certified that Venezuela was not fully cooperating with U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. As of October 1, 2006, the United States Government has prohibited arms sales and services to Venezuela.
Approximately 23,000 U.S. citizens living in Venezuela have registered with the U.S. embassy, an estimated three-quarters of them residing in the Caracas area. An estimated 12,000 U.S. tourists visit Venezuela annually. About 500 U.S. companies are represented in the country.

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--William R. Brownfield
Deputy Chief of Mission--Kevin Whitaker
Political Counselor--Robert Downes
Economic Counselor--Andrew Bowen
Commercial Counselor--Sean Kelley
Consul General--Peggy Gennatiempo
Regional Security Officer--Timothy Dumas
Public Affairs Counselor--Benjamin Ziff



U.S. Embassy
Calle F and Calle Suapure
Colinas de Valle Arriba
Caracas, Venezuela
(tel. 58-212-975-6411)

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Other Government Contacts
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
2201 C. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520
Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000 (http://www.state.gov)

U.S. Department of Commerce, Trade Information Center, International Trade Administration
14th and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Main Switchboard: 800-USA-TRADE (http://www.ita.doc.gov)

Venezuela-American Chamber of Commerce
Torre Credival, Piso 10
2nda Avenida de Campo Alegre
Campo Alegre, Apartado 5181
Caracas 1010A, Venezuela
Tel: 58-212-263-0833, Fax: 58-212-263-1829/0586
E-mail: Venam@ven.net
(http://www.venamcham.org/ingles/index.html)


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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