Cover Page

Cite item


South-South Cooperation (SSC) has become one of the major trends in the International Relations of the new millennium. Initiatives of political cooperation, economic and technical assistance can be traced back to the 1960’s, for example the Bandung Conference of non-aligned countries or the creation of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) under Ra ú l Prebisch’s aegis [Braveboy-Wagner 2009; Prebisch 1954, 1969]. Nevertheless, the emergence of China and the BRICS and a new period of high oil prices have produced an increased involvement of middle-income states in initiatives of cooperation with other countries of the Global South. Venezuela has been an actor in this wave of SSC during the government of Hugo Ch á vez. Certainly, SSC is not new in the Venezuelan external relations because Caracas implemented programs of cooperation to supply oil in special conditions to some Central American and Caribbean countries since the 1970’s. Example of this were the Puerto Ordaz Agreement, approved during the Carlos Andr é s P é rez administration (1974-1979) and the San Jos é Agreement, a Venezuelan-Mexican initiative implemented in the early 1980’s [Grayson 1985]. Similarly, Carlos Andr é s P é rez played a role in the promotion of a New International Economic Order and in the establishment of the Latin American Economic System (known in Spanish as SELA) [P é rez 1980, 1983]. However, the logic of Venezuelan South-South cooperation was transformed since the rise to power of Ch á vez in 1999 and in particular after his victory in the recall referendum convened in 2004. Ch á vez aimed to transform the Venezuelan foreign policy since the beginning of his government. One of his goals was obviously the deepening of the relations with the Global South. Venezuela as a middle-income country became a driver in the new dynamics of SSC both in Latin America and the Caribbean and beyond the Western Hemisphere. This paper analyses this increasing involvement of Venezuela in initiatives of SCC, in particular the reasons that led Ch á vez to promote those initiatives. Due to the particular narrative furthered by the Venezuelan government to explain its SSC agenda, supposedly based on solidarity, complementarity and cooperation, this paper compares Venezuelan strategy of international cooperation with more traditional forms of North-South Cooperation (NSC). To achieve such a goal, a qualitative methodology is used in the paper based on the review of the literature on international cooperation and on the evaluation of international cooperation promoted by the Venezuelan government.

About the authors

José Briceño-Ruiz

Cooperative University of Colombia

Author for correspondence.

PhD in Political Science, Professor at the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia


  1. Axelrod, R. (1984). The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books Inc., Publishers.
  2. Bagley, B.M. & Defort, M. (eds.). (2015). Decline of the US Hegemony?: A Challenge of ALBA and a New Latin American Integration of the Twenty-First Century. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
  3. Benzi, D. & Zapata Mafla, X. (2013). Geopolítica, economía y solidaridad internacional en la nueva cooperación sur-sur: el caso de la Venezuela bolivariana y Petrocaribe. América Latina Hoy, 63, 65-89.
  4. Benzi, D. & Zapata Mafla, X. (2014). Petrolio e petrodollari nella politica internazionale del Venezuela. Una breve rassegna storica (1958-2012). Visioni LatinoAmericane, 1, 63-80.
  5. Benzi, D. (2016). El exitoso ocaso del ALBA: Réquiem para el último vals tercermundista. Nueva Sociedad, 261, 77-91.
  6. Braveboy-Wagner, J.A. (2009). Institutions of the Global South. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
  7. Briceño-Ruiz, J. (2011). El ALBA como propuesta de integración regional. In: ALBA ¿Una nueva forma de integración regional? Ed. by Jossette Altmann Borbón. Buenos Aires: Teseo. p. 19-83.
  8. Briceño-Ruiz, J. (2011). Los cambios en la Política Exterior de Venezuela y el giro hacia el sur de Chávez. In: La Política Internacional en un mundo en mutación. Ed. by L. Bizzozero, I. Clemente. Montevideo: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental. p. 47-75.
  9. Briceño-Ruiz, J. (2014). El ALBA: una discusión de su modelo, sus resultados y sus perspectivas. Anuario de la Integración Regional de América Latina y el Caribe, 10, 151-178.
  10. Briceño-Ruiz, J. (2015). ¿Gobernanza regional o soft balancing de “Estados revolucionarios”? El discurso y la práctica del ALBA. Pensamiento Propio, 42, 167-194.
  11. Briceño-Ruiz, J. (2006). The Free Trade Area of the Americas in the foreign policy of Hugo Chávez. Unisa Latin American Report, 22 (1), 31-46.
  12. Chávez Frías, H. (2009). Intervención del presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías. In: II Cumbre América Del Sur-África ASA 2009 Cerrando brecha, abriendo oportunidades. Caracas: Colección Cuadernos para el debate, Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Comunicación y la Información.
  13. Clem, R.S. & Maingot, A.P. (2011). Venezuela's petro-diplomacy: Hugo Chávez's foreign policy. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.
  14. Corrales, J. (2009). Using social power to balance soft power: Venezuela's foreign policy. The Washington Quarterly, 32(4), 97-114.
  15. Dabagyan, E.S. (2012). Foreign Policy of Venezuela at the Beginning of the 21st Century: Key Trends. Moscow University Journal of World Politics, 1, 95-123. (in Russian).
  16. Dabagyan, E.S. (2014). Venezuela after Hugo Chávez. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 7, 67-77. (in Russian).
  17. De Renzio, P. & Seifert, J. (2014). South-South cooperation and the future of development assistance: mapping actors and options. Third World Quarterly, 35 (10), 1860-1875. DOI:
  18. Forite, C. (2011). Chávez et l’Afrique. Dix ans de politique extérieure vénézuélienne. Paris: Institut des Hautes Études de l’Amérique latine (IHEAL).
  19. Giacchi, M.F. (2012). La política exterior del gobierno de Hugo Chávez hacia África (2004-2010). Humania del Sur, 7(12), 41-60.
  20. Grayson, G.W. (1985). The San José Oil Facility: South-South Cooperation. Third World Quarterly, 7 (2), 390-409. DOI:
  21. Grieco, J. (1990). Cooperation among Nations: Europe, America, and Nontariff Barriers to Trade. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  22. Halliday, Fred. (1999). Revolutions and the World Politics. The rise and fall of the sixth Great Powers. Houndmills and London: Palgrave.
  23. Hattori, T. (2003). The Moral Politics of Foreign Aid. Review of International Studies, 29 (2), 229-247. DOI:
  24. Hellinger, D. (2011). Obama and the Bolivarian Agenda for the Americas. Latin American Perspectives, 38 (4), 46-62. DOI:
  25. Jaguaribe, H. (1979). Autonomía periférica y autonomía céntrica. Estudios Internacionales, 12 (46), 91-130.
  26. Kennan, G. (1971). Foreign Aid as a National Policy. Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, 30 (3), 175-183.
  27. Keohane, R.O. (1984). After Hegemony. Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  28. Labaqui, I. (2014). Who’s afraid of reversing neoliberal reforms? Financial statecraft in Argentina and Venezuela. In: The financial statecraft of emerging powers. Shield and sword in Asia and Latin America. Ed. by L.E. Armijoand, S.N. Katada. Houndmills: Palgrave, p. 21-46.
  29. Lancaster, C. (2007). Foreign Aid. Diplomacy, Development, Domestic Politics. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
  30. Lecchini, G. (2012). Reflexiones en torno a la cooperación sur-sur. In: Argentina y Brasil: proyecciones internacionales, Cooperación Sur-Sur e integración. Ed. by C. Morasso, G.P. Doval. Rosario: Editorial de la Universidad Nacional de Rosario, p. 13-26.
  31. Lumsdaine, D.H. (1993). Moral vision in international politics: The foreign aid regime, 1949-1989. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  32. Maldonado-L. G. (1982). El SELA y la cooperación Sur-Sur. Revista Nueva Sociedad, 60, 39-56. Mata Carnevali, M.G. (2012a). Relaciones Venezuela-Sudáfrica En el camino de la Cooperación Sur-Sur (2005-2010). Humania del Sur, 7 (13), 155-174.
  33. Mata Carnevali, M.G. (2012b). Venezuela's African Agenda in a South-South Context. The Cases of Algeria, Gambia and South Africa, 2005-2010. Africa Insight, 41 (4), 17-35.
  34. Mawdsley, E. (2011). The changing geographies of foreign aid and development cooperation: contributions from gift theory. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographer, 37, 256-272. DOI:
  35. Morgenthau, H. (1962). A Political Theory of Foreign Aid. The American Political Science Review, 56 (2), 301-309. DOI:
  36. Opeskin, B.R. (1996). The Moral Foundations of Foreign Aid. World Development, 24 (1), 21-44. DOI:
  37. Pérez, C.A. (1977). La social democracia y las relaciones político económicas internacionales. Revista Nueva Sociedad, 31-32, 5-12.
  38. Pérez, C.A. (1980). El diálogo Norte-Sur. Nueva Sociedad, 51, 33-46.
  39. Pérez, C.A. (1983). El SELA como instrumento político para sus Estados miembros. Nueva Sociedad, 65, 45-53.
  40. Prebisch, R. (1954). International Cooperation in Latin America Development Policy. New York: United Nations.
  41. Prebisch, R. (1969). Reflexiones sobre la cooperación internacional en el desarrollo latinoamericano. Comercio Exterior, 19 (10), 758-766.
  42. Puig, J.C. (1980). Doctrinas internacionales y Autonomía latinoamericana. Caracas: Universidad Simón Bolívar, Instituto de Altos Estudios de América Latina.
  43. Romero, C.A. (2003). Dos etapas en la política exterior de Venezuela. Politeia, 30, 319-343. Romero, C.A. (2010). La política exterior de la Venezuela bolivariana. URL: venezuela%20bolivariana.pdf (accessed 12.06.2018).
  44. Romero, C.A. & Curiel, C. (2009). Venezuela: política exterior y rentismo. Cadernos Prolam/USP, 8(14), 39-61. DOI:
  45. Romero, C.A. & Mijares, V.M. (2016). From Chávez to Maduro: Continuity and Change in Venezuelan Foreign Policy. Contexto Internacional, 38 (1), 165-201. DOI: S0102-8529.2016380100005.
  46. Ruttan, V.W. (1989). Why Foreign Economic Assistance? Economic Development and Cultural Change, 37(2), 411-424. doi: 10.1086/451730.
  47. Salazar Santos, F. (1985). El SELA: Antecedentes y realizaciones. Integración Latinoamericana, 10 (107), 3-27.
  48. Serbin, A. & Serbin Pont, A. (2014). Quince años de política exterior bolivariana: ¿entre el softbalancing y la militarización? Pensamiento Propio, 19 (39), 287-326.
  49. Revised Guidelines for the Review of Policies and Procedures Concerning Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. TCDC/13/3. (2003). United Nations - Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries. New York: United Nations.
  50. What is South-South Cooperation. (2015). UNOSSC - United Nations Office for South South Cooperation. URL: (accessed 02.04.2015).
  51. Younas, J. (2008). Motivation for bilateral aid allocation: Altruism or trade benefits. European Journal of Political Economy, 24, 661-674. DOI:

Copyright (c) 2018 Briceño-Ruiz J.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies