Relations between Venezuela and Germany have a long tradition dating back to the meeting between the two iconic figures Simón Bolívar and Alexander von Humboldt in the early 19th century. Germany has had an embassy in Venezuela since 1871.
German imports from and exports to Venezuela are very modest. In 2017 Germany’s main imports from Venezuela were oil (49 percent), iron and steel (19 percent) and petroleum by-products (14 percent). No figures are yet available for 2018.
An investment promotion agreement and a double taxation agreement are in place between the two countries. The German-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAVENAL) has its headquarters in Caracas. The number of German businesses with branches or production facilities in Venezuela is falling continuously as a result of the economic crisis, high crime levels, the lack of legal certainty, and exchange-rate problems. In May 2016 Lufthansa suspended direct flights from Frankfurt to Caracas.
The second half of 2019 saw increasing, in part unsteered dollarisation of the Venezuelan economy.
Bilateral technical cooperation with Venezuela was terminated at the end of 2004. Non-governmental development cooperation continues, however. Of Germany’s political foundations, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. both have a permanent presence there. The Hanns Seidel Foundation serves Venezuela from its Bogotá office and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung from its office in Quito.
There is close cooperation on climate and environmental policy between the Caracas-based Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW).
There has long been intensive cultural exchange between Germany and Venezuela. Besides the German Embassy, the following institutions are active in the cultural sector there: the Goethe-Institut, the tradition-steeped Asociación Cultural Humboldt, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the German-speaking Catholic Church. Other institutions include a German School Abroad (Colegio Humboldt) in Caracas, a PASCH school in Valencia (Colegio La Esperanza) and a German-Venezuelan Support Association (AVAS).
The ethnic German inhabitants of Colonia Tovar in Aragua State maintain close ties with Germany.