Canada–Venezuela relations

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Canadian-Venezuelan relations
Map indicating locations of Canada and Venezuela

Canada

Venezuela

Canada–Venezuela relations have been on good terms since the establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries in the 1950s.

History[edit]

In February 1948, there was a Canadian Consulate General in Caracas and a Venezuelan Consulate General in Montreal. In that year, the Venezuelan Consul General, on behalf of the government of Venezuela, made a rapprochement with Canada in order to open direct diplomatic representations between the two countries;[1] but the Canadian government delayed the opening of a diplomatic mission in Venezuela because of the lack of enough suitable personnel for the manning of a Canadian mission in Venezuela and the impossibility of Canada beginning a representation in Venezuela in that year without considering a policy of expansion of Canadian representation abroad.[2]

In the interest of protecting Canadian trade with Venezuela and considering the difficulties for business in being without a Canadian representation in Caracas, Canada was pushed to accept the Venezuelan offer of exchanging diplomatic missions.[3] Finally, Canada elevated the former office of the Canadian Consulate General in Caracas to the category of embassy in 1953.[4]

On the other hand, Venezuela established an embassy in Canada in 1952.[5] Since then, there have been good commercial relations between the two countries, especially in technology, oil and gas industry, telecommunications and others.

In December 2006, Hugo Chavez was re-elected President of Venezuela with 61% of the vote, originally being first elected in 1998. A number of national and international observers were on hand for the elections, including an OAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM), to which Canada contributed $110,000. Five Canadians were members of the EOM. Some irregularities were noted by the EOM, especially with regard to polling station closing times, but the EOM described the conduct of the election as generally satisfactory. Canada continues to support democratic reform and human rights in Venezuela while maintaining good bilateral relations. Canada continues to support civil society organizations that are working in the areas of democracy and human rights in Venezuela.

Trade[edit]

Venezuela is Canada’s second largest export market in South America for goods as well as for services.[6] In 2006, goods exports from Canada increased by 14% and the cumulative stock of Canadian investments in Venezuela amounted to $574 million.[7]

In 2004, Canada was Venezuela’s third export destination (2.5%) after the United States (58.7%) and the Netherlands Antilles (4.1%).[8] But in 2006, China took the place of Canada as the third export destination of Venezuela because of the increasing political and economical partnership between Venezuela and China.[9]

Also in 2004, Venezuela exported to Canada mineral fuels, oils and product of their distillation (85%); iron and steel (5%); fertilizers (2%); and inorganic chemicals (3%). On the other hand, Canada exported to Venezuela cereals (35%); machineries, engines, boilers, and mechanical appliances (12%); paper and paperboard, art of paper pulp (13%); and parts and accessories for vehicles and railway (10%).[10]

Canada and Venezuela signed a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA). Besides, a Double Taxation Agreement was done and come into force in 1998 and in 2005.[11]

Preservation of Indigenous communities[edit]

Canada supports Venezuelan efforts on the field of indigenous affairs, especially through the use of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.[12] Examples of help with the fund are:

  • Assisting Aboriginal communities to obtain medical equipment.
  • Support of a disease prevention program.

Migration[edit]

Immigration from Venezuela to Canada has been increasing through the years. The primary reasons for that migration include the persistent poverty and political instability in Venezuela. Many Venezuelan immigrants belong to the middle and upper classes and have university degree, work experience and command of other languages.[13] Some Venezuelan oil specialists immigrated to the province of Alberta between 2002 and 2004 after a strike in the Venezuelan oil sector.[14]

'Number of Venezuelans living in Canada from 1961 to 2003'

  • Before 1961: 270 Venezuelans.
  • 1961-1970: 525 Venezuelans.
  • 1971-1980: 805 Venezuelans.
  • 1981-1990: 1490 Venezuelans.
  • 1991-2001: 3965 Venezuelans.
  • 2003: 7055 Venezuelans.

There were 270 Venezuelans living in Canada before 1961. Between 1961 and 1980, the number was still small. Since then the amount has been increasing.[15]

In 2007, the number of Venezuelans living in Canada was 20,000.[16]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Documents on Canadian External Relations Accessed 17 December 2007
  2. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Documents on Canadian External Relations Accessed 17 December 2007
  3. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Documents on Canadian External Relations Accessed 17 December 2007
  4. ^ The Canadian Embassy in Venezuela Bilateral Relations Archived 2008-05-03 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 17 December 2007
  5. ^ Embassy of Venezuela in Canada "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-18.  Accessed 18 December 2007
  6. ^ The Canadian Embassy in Venezuela –The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Caracas [1] Accessed 18 December 2007
  7. ^ The Canadian Embassy in Venezuela –The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service [2] Accessed 18 December 2007
  8. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Economic Profile – Venezuela - Economic Structure (based on the CIA World Factbook, July 2005) Accessed 18 December 2007
  9. ^ CIA World Factbook Venezuela Accessed 18 December 2007
  10. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Economic Profile - Venezuela Accessed 18 December 2007
  11. ^ Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Economic Profile - Venezuela Accessed 18 December 2007
  12. ^ The Canadian Embassy in Venezuela – Aboriginal Planet Venezuela - Canada Aboriginal Overview Accessed 17 December 2007
  13. ^ BBC NewsSite profits from Venezuelan exodus (24 July 2002). Accessed 18 December 2007
  14. ^ Dinero Talento local apuesta por otros mercados Accessed 17 December 2007 (in Spanish)
  15. ^ Amitiés Québec-Venezuela ¿Cuántos venezolanos hay en Canadá y en Québec? Accessed 17 December 2007 (in Spanish)
  16. ^ La voz de Galicia Los venezolanos prefieren Estados Unidos y España, pero cada vez salen más hacia Canadá (24 November 2007). Accessed 17 December 2007 (in Spanish)