Venezuela and the United States: From Monroe's Hemisphere to Petroleum's Empire

In This Review

Venezuela and the United States: From Monroe's Hemisphere to Petroleum's Empire

By Judith Ewell
University of Georgia Press, 1996
267 pp. $50.00
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Ewell, Newton Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, has produced a useful overview of U.S.- Venezuelan relations from the time of Bolivar and Monroe to the present. Despite Venezuela's importance as a petroleum producer and a long tradition of activist foreign policy initiatives, Venezuela is currently one of Wall Street's least favorite Latin American nations. It only half-heartedly embraces the new consensus on economic reforms, at a time when oil revenues will no longer allow Venezuelan politicians to buy their way out of problems or co-opt political opposition. Geography, history, and petroleum, Ewell argues, have facilitated a greater degree of "Americanization" in Venezuela than in any other Latin American country. Venezuela's political and economic future will not be without significance for the region or the United States.