Venezuela is therefore not part of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement. The climate of trade and investment in Venezuela remains a challenge for EU operators, particularly given the economic policies and controls put in place in recent years, such as currency and price controls, expropriation and other forms of state intervention in the economy. EU foreign investment has increased from 21.4 billion euros in 2013 to 12.9 billion euros in 2018. Since 2005, the president has noted annually that Venezuela and, more recently, Maduro`s illegitimate regime have “clearly failed” to meet its drug control obligations under international anti-drug agreements. The President adopted an exception rule for national interests to pursue certain aid programs essential to U.S. national interests, such as human rights programs and civil social programs. There are no preferential trade agreements between Venezuela and the EU. Trade relations between the EU and Venezuela are based on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and tariffs. EU trade with Venezuela is affected by Venezuela`s ongoing economic crisis. Before the United States suspended diplomatic operations in Venezuela, the United States was Venezuela`s largest trading partner.
Bilateral merchandise trade between the two countries reached $3.2 billion in 2019. In 2019, U.S. merchandise exports to Venezuela totaled $1.2 billion. U.S. imports from Venezuela totaled $1.9 billion. In the past, U.S. exports to Venezuela included refined oil and petroleum products, machinery, organic chemicals and agricultural products. Crude oil dominated U.S. imports from Venezuela, which was one of the top five suppliers of foreign oil to the United States.
By early 2019, Venezuelan crude oil imports averaged 500,000 barrels per day, but U.S. sanctions reduced them to zero. Previously, U.S. foreign direct investment in Venezuela focused primarily on the oil sector, but sanctions, combined with the poor trading environment, have significantly reduced these investments. Since 2017, the United States has adopted more than 300 Venezuelan denominations under various executive orders (E.O.), including under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Among the names is the former president The United States is working with interim President Juan Guaido and his team in a number of areas of mutual interest, including humanitarian and migration issues. , health issues, safety, anti-drug initiatives and the restoration of the rule of law. In 2020, the United States proposed a democratic transition framework to help Venezuelan society achieve a peaceful and democratic transition.
Venezuela`s former presidents, the late Hugo Chavez (1999-2013) and Nicolas Maduro (2013-2019), were largely defined by their opposition to the United States by regularly criticizing and sowing misinformation about the U.S. government, its policies and relations with Latin America. Maduro, who has not been re-elected by free and fair elections, clings to power through violence. Its policy is marked by authoritarianism, intolerance towards dissidents and the violent and systematic repression of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the use of torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions and the detention of more than 400 prisoners of conscience.