Conflicting Goals in Venezuela's Foreign Policy

Javier Corrales

in Venezuela's Petro-Diplomacy

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035307
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038292 | DOI:
Conflicting Goals in Venezuela's Foreign Policy

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This chapter aims to highlight the conflicting goals in Venezuela's foreign policy under the Chávez administration. The first one being the declaration of the United States as its main adversary and adoption of the policy of “soft balancing”. Secondly, the declaration of an overt commitment to promoting development and providing a helping hand to the poor at home and abroad. Heavy international spending with a veneer of subsidizing the poor was an innovative foreign policy instrument implemented by the Chávez administration. This chapter explores Chávez administration's policy of “social power” against the United States. Low levels of democracy and a favorable international political economic environment were the major factors which aided the rise of social power. The challenge for the United States in dealing with Venezuela was to respond to Venezuela's “social power,” a tool that was so suitable for an age in which petro-states had become major world actors.

Keywords: Venezuela; foreign policy; soft balancing; Chávez administration; social power; international spending; economic environment

Chapter.  6192 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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