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Venezuela's Petro-DiplomacyHugo Chavez's Foreign Policy$
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Ralph S. Clem

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035307

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035307.001.0001

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Conflicting Goals in Venezuela's Foreign Policy

Conflicting Goals in Venezuela's Foreign Policy

(p.32) 2 Conflicting Goals in Venezuela's Foreign Policy
Venezuela's Petro-Diplomacy

Javier Corrales

University Press of Florida

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

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