The foreign policy of Venezuela and the regional leadership of Eric Williams as elements of conflict and consensus in the relationship of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Enrique Baloyra, Committee Chair


After Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence in 1962, economic integration and political coordination with Venezuela did not advance at the fast pace that could be expected taking into account geographical proximity, parallel oil based economies, and similar democratic political systems. If from 1962 until 1975 relations between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago did not achieve the expected level of positive interaction, in 1975 they indeed experienced a change for the worse. It was caused by several accusations formulated by Prime Minister Eric Williams against Venezuelan founding father Simon Bolivar and foreign policy initiatives that he perceived as Venezuelan neo-colonialist schemes on the Caribbean. This dissertation describes the development through the years of the foreign policy of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago, especially in the areas where they made contact, the factors that have hindered the development of a close and better relationship between both countries, and particularly the impact of the personality of Dr. Eric Williams in relations between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. The study also considers the progress achieved in the relationship of both countries after Williams died in 1981, especially under the governments of Prime Ministers A. N. R. Robinson and Patrick Manning in Trinidad and Tobago and Presidents Luis Herrera, Jaime Lusinchi and Carlos Andres Perez in Venezuela. It also contains an appendix on the attitudes and behavior of Simon Bolivar on slavery.


Biography; History, Latin American; Political Science, International Law and Relations

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