Etiquette in Venezuela

Venezuela, on the northern coast of South America, is home to an estimated 29.1 million people.

The official language is Spanish, although English is also spoken.

Venezuela is a federal presidential constitutional republic.

According to official government estimates, over 90% of the population is Roman Catholic. There is no official religion.

The bolívar fuerte (Bs.F.) is the currency of Venezuela. It is subdivided into 100 céntimos and replaced the bolívar in January 2008.

Dining Etiquette

If you have a morning appointment, it is generally good practice to invite your counterpoint to lunch following the meeting, where you can continue your business discussions.

Dinner, however, is for socializing. Dinners generally start around 8:30 pm and spouses are invited.

Businesswomen should be aware that dining out alone with a Venezuelan businessman could be misconstrued. Dine in groups when possible.

When seated, the most senior executives should be facing each other. The most senior person in your visiting party should offer a toast. Include good wishes for your negotiations and use a Spanish phrase to express the pleasure of being with the Venezuelans.

If you invited to dine in someone’s home, know that this is a serious expression of friendship and should not be taken lightly.