Italy–Venezuela relations refers to the diplomatic relations between Italy and Venezuela. Both nations enjoy friendly relations, the importance of which centers on the history of Italian migration to Venezuela. There are approximately over 140,000 Italians living in Venezuela with more than a million Venezuelans of full or partial Italian descent.
In 1498, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (in the service for Spain) explored the Paria Peninsula on his third voyage. After the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1831, Venezuela became an independent nation. In March 1856, Venezuela opened a consulate in Naples and in 1857, Italy opened a consular legation in the city of Maracaibo and then a second consular legation in La Guaira in 1859. In 1861, Italy and Venezuela signed a "Treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation". Venezuela was the first country in Latin America to recognize the Kingdom of Italy.
At the end of World War II, thousands of Italians left their homeland and immigrated to Venezuela with the majority settling in Caracas and Maracaibo. Several prominent Venezuelan politicians and well-known figures are of Italian descent.
In 2017, the Venezuelan government protested against Italy's recommendation to release political prisoner Leopoldo López. In March 2018, Italian Vice-Minister for Italians abroad, Luigi Maria Vignali, paid a visit to Venezuela to assess the situation of approximately 140,000 Italian citizens living in Venezuela under economic duress. Since the crisis, over 50,000 Venezuelan citizens have immigrated to Italy, many of them also having Italian citizenship by descent.
- President Raúl Leoni (1965)
- President Carlos Andrés Pérez (1976)
- President Jaime Lusinchi (1988)
- President Hugo Chávez (1999, 2001, 2006)
- President Nicolás Maduro (2013, 2016)
Both nations have signed several bilateral agreements such as a Treaty of Friendship, Trade and Navigation (1862); Agreement on Agrarian Cooperation (1985); Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation (1987); Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Investments (1990) and an Agreement on the avoidance of Double-Taxation and Tax Evasion (1990).
In 2017, trade between Italy and Venezuela totaled $338 million USD. Italy's main exports to Venezuela are food based products. Venezuela's main exports to Italy include petrol, cement and coltan.
Resident diplomatic missions
- Italy has an embassy in Caracas and a consulate in Maracaibo.
- Venezuela has an embassy in Rome and consulates-general in Milan and Naples.
- Relaciones bilaterales entre Venezuela e Italia (in Spanish)
- Relaciones bilaterales Italia y Venezuela (in Spanish)
- La presenza italiana in Venezuela alla fine del XIX secolo e nei primi decenni del XX (in Italian)
- Venezuela entregará nota de protesta a España, Alemania, Italia y Reino Unido (in Spanish)
- Italia ofrece ayuda a sus ciudadanos en Venezuela para paliar la crisis (in Spanish)
- Por qué tantos en Venezuela están eligiendo Italia para huir de la crisis (in Spanish)
- El presidente de Italia, Giusseppe Saragat, llega a Venezuela (in Spanish)
- Italia-Venezuela: Scalfaro afianza nexos mas alla de gobiernos (in Spanish)
- Jaime Lusinchi in Visita in Italia (in Italian)
- La visita del presidente venezolano (in Spanish)
- Visitas de presidentes venezolanos al Vaticano en los últimos 30 años (in Spanish)
- Principales Acuerdos suscritos de carácter económico entre Italia y Venezuela (in Spanish)
- Venezuela Trade
- Venezuela inició exportación de coltán a Italia (in Spanish)
- Embassy of Italy in Caracas
- Embassy of Venezuela in Rome