Venezuela: Issues in the 111th Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The United States traditionally has had close relations with Venezuela, a major supplier of foreign oil, but there has been friction in relations for almost a decade under the government of populist President Hugo Chavez. U.S. officials have expressed concerns about human rights, Venezuelas military arms purchases, its relations with Cuba and Iran, and its efforts to export its brand of populism to other Latin American countries. Declining cooperation on anti-drug and antiterrorism efforts has also been a concern. In September 2008, bilateral relations worsened when President Chavez expelled the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, and the United States responded in kind. Under the Obama Administration, Venezuela and the United States reached an agreement for the return of respective ambassadors in July 2009. While some observers were hopeful that the return of ambassadors would mark an improvement in relations, this has not been the case. The United States has continued to express concerns about the Venezuelan governments treatment of the news media and political opposition and about interference in the affairs of other countries in the region.
- Government and Political Science