Putin's Petroleum Paradise Open Access Deposited
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In Latin America, Russia has allied with authoritarian regimes and expanded its influence to counter the United States – a strategy that is evident in Venezuela. While policymakers have focused on China’s economic expansion in Venezuela, Russia’s use of energy diplomacy in Venezuela has garnered less attention. Russian leadership capitalized on Venezuela’s economic vulnerability to gain access to its oil reserves (which are the largest in the world), while gaining a strategic base close to the U.S. and transforming Venezuela into a satellite state for Russian hybrid warfare. Russia’s energy investments in Venezuela have political, economic, diplomatic, and military ramifications that will directly impact U.S. foreign policy for years to come.