Venezuela: Background and U.S. Relations [Updated March 31, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Introduction: "Venezuela, long one of the most prosperous countries in South America, with the world's largest proven oil reserves, remains in the throes of a deep, multifaceted crisis under the authoritarian rule of Nicolás Maduro of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Despite international pressure for Maduro to cede power and his mishandling of Venezuela's dire economic and humanitarian crisis, he has consolidated power. [...] U.S. relations with Venezuela, once a major oil supplier, deteriorated under the Hugo Chávez government (1999-2013), which undermined human rights, the separation of powers, and freedom of expression. U.S. concerns have deepened as the Maduro government has cracked down on the opposition, media, and civil society; engaged in drug trafficking and corruption; convened fraudulent elections, and impeded humanitarian aid distribution. The Administration of former President Donald Trump sought to exert diplomatic, economic, and legal pressure on Maduro until he agreed to leave office so that a transition government could convene free and fair elections. The Biden Administration is focused on addressing the humanitarian situation, supporting the Venezuelan people, and engaging in multilateral diplomacy to hold corrupt and abusive officials accountable and to press for a return to democracy. This report provides an overview of the overlapping political, economic, and humanitarian crises in Venezuela, followed by an overview of U.S. policy toward Venezuela."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R44841
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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