In this Master Thesis, a comparison is made between the United States foreign policy towards Venezuela in the period 1999-2020 and the U.S. containment policy used during the Cold War. To make this comparison, this thesis is divided in four parts. The chapter United States Containment Policy describes the origins and the implementation of the United States containment policy. The chapter Developments of Venezuela 1999-2020 lists the main developments of Venezuela in the period 1999 until 2020. The chapter United States foreign policy towards Venezuela describes the U.S. foreign policy towards Venezuela developed during the period 1999 until 2020. In the chapter Comparing Containment policy with U.S. Venezuela policy, findings from the previous chapters are used to make a comparison between the two policies. After Hugo Chávez became president of Venezuela in 1999, his government followed an anti-American foreign policy which threatened United States foreign interests. As relations between the two countries worsened, the United States implemented economic and political sanctions. The containment policy was the dominant foreign policy of the United States during the Cold War. The containment policy was designed to contain communism and avoid the spread of Soviet influence around the world. The policy of containment was very diverse as it was differently interpreted and implemented by each presidential administration. This thesis finds that certain elements of the containment policy were also used in the foreign policy towards Venezuela. However, the foreign policy focused on Venezuela is not a continuation of the Cold War policy. The world order has greatly shifted since the Cold War. The interests and the execution of the policy in the region derive from the context of the international order. Certain elements of containment are no longer suitable and thus are no longer part of the foreign policy towards Venezuela in the period 1999-2020.

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Maria del Pilar Jimenez Galindo
Global History and International Relations
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Marijn Hoppenbrouwers. (2021, June 30). Comparing Containment Policy With U.S. Policy Towards Venezuela 1999-2020. Global History and International Relations. Retrieved from