Policy & History

The goal of the Embassy of the United States in Venezuela is to deepen ties of cooperation and understanding between our  two nations, through the promotion of commercial exchange, people-to-people ties, and economic, educational, artistic, sports and cultural activities.

Ties between the peoples of the United States and Venezuela run deep, going back to the era when both were colonies of European powers.  In the late 18th and early 19thcenturies, the newly independent United States took a lively interest in the efforts of Venezuelans to achieve independence from Spain.  Leading figures of Venezuela’s independence movement, including Francisco Miranda and Simon Bolivar, visited the United States, corresponded directly with leading United States political figures, and closely studied our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  Indeed, since the early days of our republics, our leaders have engaged in a rich communication regarding the promotion of liberal democracy and the protection of the basic rights of people.  In 1806, a number of private United States citizens, led by Francisco Miranda, joined an unsuccessful multinational military effort to promote the liberation of South America from Spanish colonial governments.  The force landed near what is now Ocumare de la Costain northern Venezuela, there engaging Spanish troops in battle.  A number of these idealistic United States citizens were killed or wounded, and at least ten were captured and subsequently executed by Spanish colonial authorities.  There is a monument near the waterfront in Puerto Cabello honoring the sacrifices they made for Venezuela’s freedom.

The United States’  first diplomatic presence in Venezuela was a consulate opened in Maracaibo in 1824, when Venezuela was still part of the Colombian Federation.  Following Venezuela’s separation from the federation, the United States recognized Venezuela as an independent nation on February 28, 1835.  On June 30, 1835, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John G.A. Williamson presented his credentials to the Venezuelan Government in Caracas, formally establishing diplomatic relations between our two countries. The first commercial treaty between the United States and the Republic of Venezuela was signed on January 20, 1836, and went into effect on June 20 of that year.  For the overwhelming majority of our bilateral history, the United States and Venezuela have benefitted from a series of trade agreements.  The United States is by a significant margin Venezuela’s largest trade partner. Although our two nations are different in many ways, the ties of commerce and history, of culture and arts, sports and family that bind our two peoples together as friends and partners are remarkably strong and enduring.

The Government of the United States seeks to improve bilateral relations with the Government of Venezuela, in order to work toward the resolution of challenges of mutual interest.  Among these are:

  • Respect for democratic institutions and rule of law
  • Respect for human rights
  • Reducing the transit of illicit narcotics
  • Promotion of shared economic prosperity
  • Promotion of bilateral commercial ties
  • Promotion of greater hemispheric integration