Venezuelan Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • Be respectful of your Venezuelan counterpart’s family. Family is very important to Venezuelan culture, and Venezuelans have strong bonds with their relatives and local communities.
  • Present yourself in a clean and tidy manner. Venezuelans generally take pride in their appearance and are likely to notice people’s personal hygiene and grooming.
  • Deliver all criticism or feedback tactfully in private. Venezuelans generally prefer not to express negative opinions openly in front of others, and it may be considered rude and inappropriate to be publicly critical. Do not let their direct, open communication style lead you to think they are immune to offence.
  • Try to tolerate a higher volume of noise. Venezuelans are generally more lenient with the level of noise that is permissible in a social situation or coming from a neighbouring house.
  • Be patient during conversation. Venezuelans can sometimes give quite long, drawn-out answers to questions, making it difficult to interject. However, wait your turn before speaking. You can expect them to be courteous listeners in return. 


Don’ts

  • Do not diminish the seriousness of the situation in Venezuela. Venezuelans generally speak about the political situation in their country quite openly and may raise the topic themselves. However, the situation is very complex. If the topic is discussed, it is best to simply listen to their point of view and express sympathy for their people’s circumstances. Venezuelans are likely to appreciate that their voice is being heard.
  • Do not assume all Hispanic and Latin American peoples are the same. There are many different countries and cultures across Central and South America that vary greatly in many aspects of life. Venezuelans identify proudly as Venezuelans first, and Latin Americans after that. 
  • Avoid openly enquiring about Venezuelan folk beliefs or superstitions. People tend to be private about these practices.
  • Do not criticise Simón Bolívar, the national hero of Venezuela. His image and memory continues to be revered by many. 
  • Avoid making strong statements or criticisms about Hugo Chavéz or Chavismo. You cannot presume a person’s position (pro/anti-Chavista or anything in between). Approach the topic in a sensitive, non-judgemental way and let your counterpart guide the tone of the discussion. 
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