Oil makes up one-third of Venezuela's entire GDP, and the United States is far and away Venezuela's largest trading partner. Relations between Venezuela and the United States, traditionally close for most of the last two centuries, began to fray as the end of the Cold War altered the international environment.

U.S.-Venezuela Relations since the 1990s explores relations between these two countries since 1999, when Hugo Chavez came to office and proceeded to change Venezuela's historical relation with the United States and other democracies. The authors analyze the reasons for rising bilateral conflict, the decision-making process in Venezuela, the role played by public and private actors in shaping foreign policy, the role of other powers such as China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in shaping U.S.-Venezuelan relations, the role of Venezuela in Cuba and Colombia, and the impact of broader international dynamics in the bi-lateral relations.

part I|13 pages

U.S.–Venezuela Relations and IR Theory

chapter 1|11 pages


Old Themes and Variations

part II|47 pages

Neorealism, Soft Balancing, and Midlevel Security Threats

chapter 3|21 pages

U.S. Responses

The Rise and Decline of Emulation

part III|51 pages

Beyond Neorealism

chapter 5|22 pages

The “Talk Softly, Sanction Softly” Policy

Origins, Benefits, and Limitations

part IV|46 pages

Regime Type and Other Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy

chapter 6|22 pages

Regime Type and Venezuela's Foreign Policy

President and Soldiers

chapter 7|22 pages

Regime Type and U.S. Policy Toward Venezuela

President and Congress

part V|42 pages

Overreaching and Outreaching

chapter 8|25 pages

From Alba to Damascus

Tiny Allies, Big Pariahs, and Identity Formation

chapter 9|15 pages


Friends/Enemies, For Now