Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Management and Decision Sciences


College of Business

First Advisor

James Henderson


The twentieth century gave rise to a competition among countries that is exponentially growing vicious. This competition, sometimes referred to as "petroleum politics," has engulfed the late twentieth century and all of the twenty-first century in diplomatic chaos. This has not only stirred animosity among national leaders, it has also caused war and bloodshed on au international scale. In a world where money and nuclear weapons once demonstrated power, countries are now fighting for control of this precious, non-renewable resource and the unlimited amount of power that comes with its control. One man who has strategically used his control of oil and the power that comes with it is the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. As we will see, global politics have changed such that to be influential over other nations, one does not have to be the biggest and richest country. To exert the most influence around the globe requires only one thing, oil control. The combination of Venezuela's large supply of oil and Chavez' animosity towards the United States and its neoliberal policies, has the potential for many challenges to America. The diplomatic use of this oil by Chavez has and will be a challenge to the United States and to the policies Washington believes so much in.