Latin America

Why Brazilian trade with Venezuela has hit a 20-year low

Imports and exports have fallen significantly, but ideological squabbling between Bolsonaro and Maduro isn't the main cause

Due to the economic crisis and hyperinflation in Venezuela, the unofficial dollar exchange rate reaches VEF 250,000 for USD 1. Photo: Sunsinger/Shutterstock
Hyperinflation has haunted Venezuela. Photo: Sunsinger/Shutterstock

Venezuela was once among the top 10 buyers of Brazilian products. In 2008, during the Lula administration, Brazil’s exports to its northern neighbor added up to USD 5.13 billion. But since current President Nicolás Maduro took over from the late Hugo Chávez, bilateral trade between the two nations has spiraled downward. In 2019, it reached its lowest point in 20 years—less than USD 500 million, or ten times less than in 2013, when trade in both directions hit USD 6 billion.

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been an adamant opponent of Mr. Maduro’s and has advocated for cutting...

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