Venezuela threatened in early April to retaliate against a European Union decision to ban Venezuelan state airline Conviasa from flying in the EU. In an email interview, Susanne Gratius, a specialist in EU-Latin America relations at the Madrid-based think tank FRIDE, discussed EU-Venezuela relations.
WPR: What is the history of European Union-Venezuela relations under President Hugo Chavez?
Susanne Gratius: Relations are distant but cordial. Unlike U.S. policy, there are no diplomatic tensions or open conflicts between the EU and the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Despite limited mutual interests, the EU has become the main donor and a principal external actor for Venezuela. In 2002, the EU (with the exception of Spain) condemned the coup attempt against Chávez and supported the Organization of American States' efforts at facilitating a dialogue between Chávez and the opposition.