Venezuelan Crisis of 1902-03

Venezuelan Crisis of 1902-03

 

an international crisis that resulted from the aggravation of imperialist contradictions in the Caribbean. The crisis was linked to the attempt of capitalists from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, and the USA to obtain from Venezuela payment of debts and indemnities for damages incurred by them during the civil war in Venezuela from 1899 to 1902. Having given Venezuela an ultimatum about the immediate payment of debts, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy sank three of four Venezuelan gunboats and landed troops between December 1902 and February 1903. In an attempt to establish a monopolistic dominance over the Caribbean, the USA secured a lifting of the blockade of Venezuela. However, at the same time the USA demanded from Venezuela payment of the debts of the European powers in order to establish the precedent that a Latin American government would not have the right to reject the claims of a foreign monopoly. As a result of US diplomatic pressure on the blockading powers, they signed an agreement with Venezuela in February 1903 concerning the use of 30 percent of the customs duty income from the Venezuelan ports of Puerto Cabello and La Guaira to satisfy their claims. The Venezuelan crisis was evidence of the increasing expansion of the USA in Latin America. It was noted by V. I. Lenin in Notebooks on Imperialism as one of the main international crises during the preparation for World War I.

M. A. OKUNEVA

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Among the highlights of his story are the Venezuelan crisis of 1902-03, defending the Panamanian revolution, Morocco, making peace at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, and the Great White Fleet.