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Venezuela's Petro-Diplomacy

Hugo Chávez's Foreign Policy

Edited by Ralph S. Clem and Anthony P. Maingot

Publication Year: 2011

Since coming to power in 1999, President Hugo Chavez has used the windfall of high oil prices to remake Venezuela internally along the model of twenty-first-century socialism and, even more audaciously, to rewrite global relations by directly challenging U.S. hegemony. The dramatic ascendency of the country in hemispheric and global international relations over the past decade is the subject of Venezuela’s Petro-Diplomacy.

The contributors offer fresh, authoritative insights into a wide array of questions hanging over Venezuelan foreign policy and the leadership of the maverick president, Chavez. While revenue from petroleum exports has swelled national coffers and allowed the expansion of public programs and the extension of aid to foreign countries, bolstering Chavez’s popularity at home and abroad, the volatility of petroleum prices and the neglect of other export industries have the potential to render Chavez’s--and Venezuela’s--power tenuous.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page

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p. iii-iii


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pp. v-vi

List of Figures and Tables

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Unlike the governments of some other oil-rich states, Venezuela’s democratic governments have historically been extremely adept at using oil and the wealth derived from oil exports as a foreign policy tool. None has been bolder than the government of Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s current president. Not only ...

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Introduction. Continuity and Change in Venezuela’s Petro-Diplomacy

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pp. 1-15

Over the last decade, Venezuela has exerted an influence on the Western Hemisphere and indeed, global international relations, well beyond what one might expect from a country of 26.5 million people. In considering the reasons for this influence, one must of course take into account the country’s vast petroleum ...

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1. The Logic of Venezuelan Foreign Policy during the Chávez Period

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pp. 16-31

To some casual outside observers, Venezuela’s foreign policy under the Chávez administration appears radical and increasingly militarized. The war scare with Colombia that followed the Colombian incursion into Ecuador to target FARC leaders generated headlines in part because of the mobilization of ...

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2. Conflicting Goals in Venezuela’s Foreign Policy

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pp. 32-48

The United States is again nervous about Latin America. The consolidation of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, the most vehement U.S.-basher in the region since the Cold War, has caught the United States unprepared. Chávez issues threats against the United States almost daily, and the United States has begun to ...

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3. Public Opinion and Venezuelan Foreign Policy

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pp. 49-67

Many observers have noted the assertive nature of Venezuela’s foreign policy, the efforts by the Venezuelan government to market its image internationally, and the impact of this strategy on target audiences. An equally important consideration, however, is the progressive, albeit gradual, shift in opinion in Venezuela of ...

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4. Imposing the International Bolivarian Project

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pp. 68-76

Despite the fact that in a December 2007 referendum the majority of Venezuelans rejected President Hugo Chávez’s proposal to reform the 1999 Constitution, the Venezuelan government continues its attempts to impose its national and international project, “Twenty-first Century Socialism,” by any means, legal ...

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5. Venezuela’s Revolutionary Foreign Policy and Colombian Security

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pp. 77-91

Foreign Affairs recently marked the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” the article that became the theoretical underpinning of U.S. strategy against the Soviet Union. The article grew to mythic stature, due in part to the anonymity of its author, later revealed to be Moscow-based diplomat ...

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6. Strangest Bedfellows: The Belarus-Venezuela Connection

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pp. 92-101

William Safire, known for his etymological genius as well as for his incisive conservative commentary, provided us with both the background and an excellent definition of the much-used phrase, “Politics makes for strange bedfellows.” As is so often the case, Safire tells us, the expression traces back to Shakespeare ...

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7. Responses to Venezuelan Petro-Politics in the Greater Caribbean

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pp. 102-115

“Bolivarian bravado” is the term used by Benedict Mander of the Financial Times to describe the rhetoric coming from the regime in Venezuela in the second half of 2008.1 In an analysis supported by other serious journalistic accounts, 2 Mander pointed to several underlying realities of the situation at the ...

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8. ALBA, Petrocaribe, and Caricom: Issues in a New Dynamic

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pp. 116-134

The growth of relations between several Caricom states and the Venezuelan-promoted ALBA and Petrocaribe initiatives is one of the most significant recent developments in regional affairs. An immediate issue that has arisen is whether membership in ALBA conflicts with the obligations of Caricom membership. Larger ...

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9. European Progressives and the Bolivarian Social Agenda

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pp. 135-150

The following discussion addresses “progressive” European perspectives of Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian revolution. Within this framework, the aim is to outline the drivers of Chávez’s popularity among left-of-center and social- activist groups in Europe, and to explore whether identification with the ...

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10. How to Fill a Vacuum: Chávez in the International Arena

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pp. 151-158

Latin America today is a region of contradictions. Economically, the region as a whole has been enjoying its highest economic growth rates in three decades, thanks to sensible macroeconomic policies and high prices for commodities—copper, iron ore, soy, and hydrocarbons. At least until recently, this ...

List of Contributors

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pp. 159-160


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pp. 161-162

E-ISBN-13: 9780813048130
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813035307
Print-ISBN-10: 0813035309

Page Count: 184
Illustrations: 15 line drawings, 2 tables
Publication Year: 2011