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.
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 operating in Venezuela has, however, fallen sharply as a result of the economic crisis, high crime levels and a lack of legal certainty. The level of bilateral trade is very low.
Bilateral technical cooperation with Venezuela was terminated in 2004. Of Germany’s political foundations, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. both have a permanent presence in the country. The Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation serve Venezuela from their offices in Bogotá, Quito and Lima.
Germany is one of the biggest donors of humanitarian assistance and one of the largest providers of funding for projects that promote democracy and human rights. Germany supports international organizations that are active in the country, as well as German and Venezuelan NGOs.
Both countries have enjoyed an intensive cultural exchange for many years. Besides the German Embassy, the following institutions are active there: the Goethe-Institut, the tradition-steeped Asociación Cultural Humboldt, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the German-speaking Catholic Church. There is a German school abroad (Colegio Humboldt) in Caracas and there are two schools that participate in the Schools: Partners for the Future programme, one in Maracaibo and one in Valencia. The Goethe-Institut reports constant high demand for German courses. The German-Venezuelan Support Association (AVAS) supports members of the German-Venezuelan community who are in need.
The ethnic German inhabitants of Colonia Tovar maintain close ties with Germany, particularly with towns in the Kaiserstuhl area, which was where the original immigrants came from in the first half of the 19th century.