Coordinates : 7°N 65°W / 7°N 65°W / 7; -65
Bolivarian Republic of
* _República Bolivariana de Venezuela_ (Spanish )
_ Flag Coat of arms
Gloria al Bravo Pueblo _
(English: "Glory to the Brave People")
and largest city
10°30′N 66°55′W / 10.500°N 66.917°W / 10.500;
RECOGNIZED REGIONAL LANGUAGES
ETHNIC GROUPS (2011 )
* 43.6% White
* 2.9% Black
* 1.2% others
* 0.7% Afrodescendant
3% Other religion
1% No answer
Federal presidential constitutional republic
• VICE PRESIDENT
Tareck El Aissami
Tareck El Aissami
• PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
• PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
* National Assembly
* Constitutional Assembly
• FROM SPAIN
5 July 1811
• FROM GRAN COLOMBIA
13 January 1830
30 March 1845
916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) (33rd )
• WATER (%)
• 2016 ESTIMATE CENSUS
31,775,371 (44th )
33.75/km2 (87.4/sq mi) (181st )
GDP (PPP )
• PER CAPITA
• PER CAPITA
high · 71st
Bolívar fuerte (VEF )
VET (UTC –4)
dd/mm/yyyy (CE )
DRIVES ON THE
ISO 3166 CODE
* ^ The "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" has been the full
official title since the adoption of the new Constitution of 1999 ,
when the state was renamed in honor of
Simón Bolívar .
* ^ The Constitution also recognizes all indigenous languages
spoken in the country.
* ^ Some important subgroups include those of Spanish , Italian ,
Amerindian , African , Portuguese , Arab and German descent.
* ^ Area totals include only Venezuelan-administered territory.
* ^ On 1 January 2008, a new bolivar was introduced, the _bolívar
ISO 4217 code VEF) worth 1,000 VEB.
VENEZUELA (/ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə/ (_ listen ) VEN-ə-ZWAYL-ə_ ;
American Spanish: ), officially the BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA
(Spanish : _República Bolivariana de Venezuela_), is a federal
republic located on the northern coast of South America. It is
Colombia on the west,
Brazil on the south,
Guyana on the
east, and the islands of
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east.
Venezuela covers 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) and has over 31 million
(31,775,371) people. The country has extremely high biodiversity
(ranked 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number of
species), with habitats ranging from the
Andes Mountains in the west
Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive _llanos _
plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the
Orinoco River Delta
in the east.
The territory now known as
Venezuela was colonized by
Spain in 1522
amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the
first Spanish-American colonies to declare independence , which was
not securely established until 1821, when
Venezuela was a department
of the federal republic of
Gran Colombia . It gained full independence
as a separate country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela
suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by
regional _caudillos _ (military strongmen) until the mid-20th century.
Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments.
Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political
crises, including the deadly
Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted
coups in 1992 , and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez
for embezzlement of public funds in 1993. A collapse in confidence in
the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved
Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian
Revolution , beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new
Constitution of Venezuela. This new constitution officially changed
the name of the country to _República Bolivariana de Venezuela_
(Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states
, the Capital District (covering
Caracas ), and federal dependencies
(covering Venezuela's offshore islands).
Venezuela also claims all
Guyanese territory west of the
Essequibo River , a
159,500-square-kilometre (61,583 sq mi) tract dubbed _Guayana Esequiba
_ or the _Zona en Reclamación_ (the "zone being reclaimed").
Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America;
the vast majority of
Venezuelans live in the cities of the north,
especially in the capital (Caracas) which is also the largest city in
Oil was discovered in the early 20th century, and
Venezuela has the
world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's
leading exporters of oil. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of
agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa , oil quickly came
to dominate exports and government revenues. The
1980s oil glut
1980s oil glut led to
an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, in which
inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995
as (by 1998) per capita
GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a
third from its 1978 peak. The recovery of oil prices in the early
Venezuela oil funds not seen since the 1980s. The
Venezuelan government then established populist policies that
initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social
spending, significantly reducing economic inequality and poverty .
However, such policies later became controversial, as their excesses
– especially a uniquely extreme fossil fuel subsidy – are widely
blamed for destabilizing the nation's economy and creating a crisis in
Venezuela , resulting in hyperinflation , an economic
depression , and drastic increases in poverty, disease, child
mortality, malnutrition, and crime.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Pre-Columbian history
* 2.2 Colonization
Independence and 19th century
* 2.4 20th century
* 2.5 Bolivarian government: 1999–present
* 2.5.1 Hugo Chávez: 1999–2013
Nicolás Maduro 2013–present
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Climate
* 3.2 Biodiversity
* 3.3 Environment
* 4 Government and politics
* 4.1 Suspension of constitutional rights
* 4.2 Foreign relations
* 4.3 Military
* 4.4 Law and crime
* 4.4.1 Corruption
* 5 States and regions of
* 5.1 Largest cities
* 5.2 Largest metropolitan areas
* 6 Economy
* 6.1 Tourism
Los Roques and Morrocoy
* 6.1.2 Canaima
Petroleum and other resources
* 6.4 Transport
Water supply and sanitation
* 7 Demographics
* 7.2 Languages
* 7.3 Religion
* 8 Media
* 9 Culture
* 9.1 Art
* 9.2 Literature
* 9.3 Music
* 9.4 Sport
* 9.5 Cuisine
* 9.6 Beauty pageants
* 9.7 Architecture
* 10 Education
* 11 Health
* 12 See also
* 13 References
* 14 Notes
* 15 Bibliography
* 16 External links
According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an
expedition led by
Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast. The
stilt houses in the area of
Lake Maracaibo reminded the navigator,
Amerigo Vespucci , of the city of
Venice , so he named the region
_Veneziola_ "Piccola Venezia". The name acquired its current spelling
as a result of Spanish influence, where the suffix _-uela_ is used as
a diminutive term (e.g., _plaza / plazuela_, _cazo / cazuela_); thus,
the term's original sense would have been that of a "little Venice".
German language 16th century-term for the area, _
also means little
Venice (literally "small Venice").
Martín Fernández de Enciso , a member of the Vespucci and
Ojeda crew, gave a different account. In his work _Summa de
geografía_, he states that they found indigenous people who called
themselves the _Veneciuela._ Thus, the name "Venezuela" may have
evolved from the native word.
History of Venezuela
Timoto-Cuica territory, in present-day Mérida,
Timoto and Cuica toponyms.
Evidence exists of human habitation in the area now known as
Venezuela from about 15,000 years ago; leaf -shaped tools from this
period, together with chopping and planoconvex scraping implements,
have been found exposed on the high riverine terraces of the Rio
Pedregal in western Venezuela.
Late Pleistocene hunting artifacts,
including spear tips, have been found at a similar series of sites in
Venezuela known as "El Jobo"; according to radiocarbon
dating , these date from 13,000 to 7,000 BC.
It is not known how many people lived in
Venezuela before the Spanish
conquest; it has been estimated at around one million. In addition to
indigenous peoples known today, the population included historical
groups such as the Kalina (Caribs),
Mariche , and
Timoto-Cuicas . The Timoto-Cuica culture was the most complex society
in Pre-Columbian Venezuela; with pre-planned permanent villages,
surrounded by irrigated, terraced fields. They also stored water in
tanks. Their houses were made primarily of stone and wood with
thatched roofs. They were peaceful, for the most part, and depended on
growing crops. Regional crops included potatoes and ullucos . They
left behind works of art, particularly anthropomorphic ceramics, but
no major monuments. They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles
and mats for housing. They are credited with having invented the arepa
, a staple in
Venezuelan cuisine .
After the conquest, the population dropped markedly, mainly through
the spread of new infectious diseases from Europe. Two main
north-south axes of pre-Columbian population were present, who
cultivated maize in the west and manioc in the east. Large parts of
the _llanos_ were cultivated through a combination of slash and burn
and permanent settled agriculture.
Spanish colonization of the Americas and Colonial
Welser Armada exploring
In 1498, during his third voyage to the Americas, Christopher
Columbus sailed near the
Orinoco Delta and landed in the Gulf of Paria
. Amazed by the great offshore current of freshwater which deflected
his course eastward, Columbus expressed in a letter to Isabella and
Ferdinand that he must have reached Heaven on Earth (terrestrial
Great signs are these of the Terrestrial Paradise, for the site
conforms to the opinion of the holy and wise theologians whom I have
mentioned. And likewise, the signs conform very well, for I have
never read or heard of such a large quantity of fresh water being
inside and in such close proximity to salt water; the very mild
temperateness also corroborates this; and if the water of which I
speak does not proceed from Paradise then it is an even greater
marvel, because I do not believe such a large and deep river has ever
been known to exist in this world.
His certainty of having attained Paradise made him name this region
'Land of Grace', a phrase that has become the country's nickname.
Spain's colonization of mainland
Venezuela started in 1522,
establishing its first permanent South American settlement in the
present-day city of
Cumaná . In the 16th century,
contracted as a concession by the King of
Spain to the German Welser
banking family (
Klein-Venedig , 1528–1546). Native _caciques _
(leaders) such as
Guaicaipuro (_circa_ 1530–1568) and
1573) attempted to resist Spanish incursions, but the newcomers
ultimately subdued them;
Tamanaco was put to death by order of
Diego de Losada
Diego de Losada .
In the 16th century, during the Spanish colonization, indigenous
peoples, such as many of the
Mariches , themselves descendants of the
Kalina, converted to
Roman Catholicism . Some of the resisting tribes
or leaders are commemorated in place names, including Caracas, Chacao
Los Teques . The early colonial settlements focused on the
northern coast, but in the mid-18th century, the Spanish pushed
farther inland along the
Orinoco River . Here, the Ye\'kuana (then
known as the Makiritare) organized serious resistance in 1775 and
Spain's eastern Venezuelan settlements were incorporated into New
Andalusia Province . Administered by the Royal Audiencia of Santo
Domingo from the early 16th century, most of
Venezuela became part of
Viceroyalty of New Granada in the early 18th century, and was then
reorganized as an autonomous Captaincy General starting in 1777. The
town of Caracas, founded in the central coastal region in 1567, was
well-placed to become a key location, being near the coastal port of
La Guaira whilst itself being located in a valley in a mountain range,
providing defensive strength against pirates and a more fertile and
INDEPENDENCE AND 19TH CENTURY
Main article: Venezuelan War of
Independence The signing of
Venezuela's independence, by
Martín Tovar y Tovar The Battle
Carabobo , during the Venezuelan War of
After a series of unsuccessful uprisings, Venezuela, under the
Francisco de Miranda , a Venezuelan marshal who had
fought in the
American Revolution and the
French Revolution , declared
independence on 5 July 1811. This began the Venezuelan War of
Independence. A devastating earthquake that struck
Caracas in 1812 ,
together with the rebellion of the Venezuelan _llaneros _, helped
bring down the first Venezuelan republic. A second Venezuelan
republic , proclaimed on 7 August 1813, lasted several months before
being crushed, as well.
Sovereignty was only attained after
Simón Bolívar , aided by José
Antonio Páez and
Antonio José de Sucre , won the Battle of Carabobo
on 24 June 1821. On 24 July 1823,
José Prudencio Padilla and Rafael
Urdaneta helped seal Venezuelan independence with their victory in the
Lake Maracaibo . New Granada's congress gave Bolívar
control of the Granadian army; leading it, he liberated several
countries and founded
Gran Colombia .
Sucre, who won many battles for Bolívar, went on to liberate Ecuador
and later become the second president of
Gran Colombia until 1830, when a rebellion led by Páez
allowed the proclamation of a newly independent Venezuela; Páez
became the first president of the new republic. Between one-quarter
and one-third of Venezuela's population was lost during these two
decades of warfare which by 1830 was estimated at about 800,000. _
José Gregorio Monagas abolished slavery in 1854. Simón
Bolívar, El Libertador_, Hero of the Venezuelan War of
The colors of the Venezuelan flag are yellow, blue, and red: the
yellow stands for land wealth, the blue for the sea that separates
Venezuela from Spain, and the red for the blood shed by the heroes of
Venezuela was abolished in 1854. Much of Venezuela's
19th-century history was characterized by political turmoil and
dictatorial rule, including the
Independence leader José Antonio
Páez, who gained the presidency three times and served a total of 11
years between 1830 and 1863. This culminated in the Federal War
(1859–1863), a civil war in which hundreds of thousands died, in a
country with a population of not much more than a million people. In
the latter half of the century,
Antonio Guzmán Blanco
Antonio Guzmán Blanco , another
_caudillo_, served a total of 13 years between 1870 and 1887, with
three other presidents interspersed.
In 1895, a longstanding dispute with Great Britain about the
territory of Guayana Esequiba, which Britain claimed as part of
British Guiana and
Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, erupted into
Venezuela Crisis of 1895 . The dispute became a diplomatic crisis
when Venezuela's lobbyist William L. Scruggs sought to argue that
British behavior over the issue violated the United States' Monroe
Doctrine of 1823, and used his influence in Washington, D.C., to
pursue the matter. Then, US President
Grover Cleveland adopted a broad
interpretation of the doctrine that did not just simply forbid new
European colonies, but declared an American interest in any matter
within the hemisphere. Britain ultimately accepted arbitration, but
in negotiations over its terms was able to persuade the US on many of
the details. A tribunal convened in Paris in 1898 to decide the issue,
and in 1899 awarded the bulk of the disputed territory to British
Cipriano Castro , assisted by his friend Juan Vicente Gómez
, seized power in Caracas, marching an army from his base in the
Andean state of
Táchira . Castro defaulted on Venezuela's
considerable foreign debts, and declined to pay compensation to
foreigners caught up in Venezuela's civil wars. This led to the
Venezuela Crisis of 1902–1903 , in which Britain, Germany, and Italy
imposed a naval blockade of several months, before international
arbitration at the new
Permanent Court of Arbitration
Permanent Court of Arbitration in
The Hague was
agreed. In 1908, another dispute broke out with the Netherlands, which
was resolved when Castro left for medical treatment in Germany and was
promptly overthrown by Juan Vicente Gómez. File:Gómez,
Juan Vicente Gómez ruled
Venezuela for 27 years
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Flag of Venezuela
Flag of Venezuela until 2006.
The discovery of massive oil deposits in
Lake Maracaibo during World
War I proved to be pivotal for Venezuela, and transformed the basis of
its economy from a heavy dependence on agricultural exports. It
prompted an economic boom that lasted into the 1980s; by 1935,
Venezuela's per capita gross domestic product was Latin America's
highest. Gómez benefited handsomely from this, as corruption
thrived, but at the same time, the new source of income helped him
centralize the Venezuelan state and develop its authority.
He remained the most powerful man in
Venezuela until his death in
1935, although at times he ceded the presidency to others. The
_gomecista_ dictatorship system largely continued under Eleazar López
Contreras , but from 1941, under
Isaías Medina Angarita , was
relaxed, with the latter granting a range of reforms, including the
legalization of all political parties. After
World War II
World War II ,
immigration from Southern Europe (mainly from Spain, Italy , Portugal,
and France) and poorer Latin American countries markedly diversified
Rómulo Betancourt (President
1945–1948/1959-1964), one of the major democracy activists of
In 1945, a civilian-military coup overthrew Medina Angarita and
ushered in a three-year period of democratic rule under the mass
Democratic Action , initially under Rómulo Betancourt,
Rómulo Gallegos won the Venezuelan presidential election, 1947
(generally believed to be the first free and fair elections in
Venezuela). Gallegos governed until overthrown by a military junta led
Marcos Pérez Jiménez and Gallegos' Defense Minister Carlos
Delgado Chalbaud in the 1948 Venezuelan _coup d\'état_ .
Pérez Jiménez was the most powerful man in the junta (though
Chalbaud was its titular president), and was suspected of being behind
the death in office of Chalbaud, who died in a bungled kidnapping in
1950. When the junta unexpectedly lost the election it held in 1952 ,
it ignored the results and Pérez Jiménez was installed as President,
where he remained until 1958.
The military dictator Pérez Jiménez was forced out on 23 January
1958. In an effort to consolidate the young democracy, the major
political parties (with the notable exception of the Communist Party
Venezuela ) signed the
Punto Fijo Pact .
Democratic Action and
COPEI would dominate the political landscape for four decades.
In the 1960s, substantial guerilla movements occurred, including the
Armed Forces of National Liberation and the Revolutionary Left
Movement , which had split from
Democratic Action in 1960. Most of
these movements laid down their arms under
Rafael Caldera 's
presidency (1969–74); Caldera had won the 1968 election for COPEI,
being the first time a party other than
Democratic Action took the
presidency through a democratic election.
The election of
Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1973 coincided with the 1973
oil crisis , in which Venezuela's income exploded as oil prices
soared; oil industries were nationalized in 1976. This led to massive
increases in public spending, but also increases in external debts,
which continued into the 1980s when the collapse of oil prices during
the 1980s crippled the Venezuelan economy. As the government started
to devalue the currency in February 1983 to face its financial
obligations, Venezuelans' real standards of living fell dramatically.
A number of failed economic policies and increasing corruption in
government led to rising poverty and crime, worsening social
indicators, and increased political instability.
Economic crises in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis in
which hundreds died in the
Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups
d'état in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés
Pérez (re-elected in 1988) for corruption in 1993. Coup leader Hugo
Chávez was pardoned in March 1994 by president
Rafael Caldera , with
a clean slate and his political rights reinstated.
BOLIVARIAN GOVERNMENT: 1999–PRESENT
Bolivarian Revolution refers to a left-wing populism social
movement and political process in
Venezuela led by the late Venezuelan
president, Hugo Chávez, the founder of the Fifth Republic Movement
and later the
United Socialist Party of Venezuela . The "Bolivarian
Revolution" is named after
Simón Bolívar , an early 19th-century
Venezuelan and Latin American revolutionary leader, prominent in the
Spanish American wars of independence in achieving the independence of
most of northern
South America from Spanish rule. According to Chávez
and other supporters, the "Bolivarian Revolution" seeks to build a
mass movement to implement
Bolivarianism —popular democracy ,
economic independence, equitable distribution of revenues, and an end
to political corruption —in Venezuela. They interpret Bolívar's
ideas from a populist perspective, using socialist rhetoric.
Hugo Chávez: 1999–2013
Main article: Presidency of
Hugo Chávez Hugo Chávez,
president from 1999 until his death in 2013.
A collapse in confidence in the existing parties led to Chávez being
elected president in 1998, and the subsequent launch of a "Bolivarian
Revolution", beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new
Constitution of Venezuela. Chávez also initiated Bolivarian missions
, programs aimed at helping the poor.
In April 2002, Chávez was briefly ousted from power in the 2002
Venezuelan coup d\'état attempt following popular demonstrations by
his opponents, but he was returned to power after two days as a
result of demonstrations by poor Chávez supporters in
actions by the military.
Chávez also remained in power after an all-out national strike that
lasted from December 2002 to February 2003 , including a
strike/lockout in the state oil company
PDVSA . The strike produced
severe economic dislocation, with the country's
GDP falling 27% during
the first four months of 2003, and costing the oil industry $13.3
billion. Capital flight before and during the strike led to the
reimposition of currency controls (which had been abolished in 1989),
managed by the
CADIVI agency. In the subsequent decade, the government
was forced into several currency devaluations. These devaluations
have done little to improve the situation of the
Venezuelan people who
rely on imported products or locally produced products that depend on
imported inputs while dollar-denominated oil sales account for the
vast majority of Venezuela's exports. The profits of the oil industry
have been lost to "social engineering" and corruption, instead of
investments needed to maintain oil production.
Chávez survived several further political tests, including an August
2004 recall referendum . He was elected for another term in December
2006 and re-elected for a third term in October 2012. However, he was
never sworn in for his third period, due to medical complications.
Chávez died on 5 March 2013 after a nearly two-year fight with
cancer. The presidential election that took place on Sunday, 14 April
2013, was the first since Chávez took office in 1999 in which his
name did not appear on the ballot.
Western journalists and economists have argued that
Hugo Chávez suffered "one of the worst cases of
Dutch Disease in the
world" due to the Bolivarian government's large dependence on oil
Poverty and inflation began to increase into the 2010s.
Nicolás Maduro was elected in 2013 after the death of Chavez.
Venezuela devalued its currency in February 2013 due to the rising
shortages in the country, which included those of milk, flour, and
other necessities. This led to an increase in malnutrition, especially
among children. In 2014,
Venezuela entered an economic recession .
Venezuela had the world's highest inflation rate with the
rate surpassing 100%, becoming the highest in the country's history.
Economic problems, as well as crime and corruption, were some of the
main causes of the
2014–17 Venezuelan protests , which left more
than 50 protesters killed.
Nicolás Maduro 2013–present
Nicolás Maduro , the
Nicolás Maduro has been the
President of Venezuela since 14 April
2013, after winning the second presidential election after Chávez's
death, with 50.61% of the votes against the opposition's candidate
Henrique Capriles Radonski who had 49.12% of the votes. The Democratic
Unity Roundtable contested his election as fraud, and as a violation
of the constitution. However, the Supreme Court of
that under Venezuela's Constitution,
Nicolás Maduro is the legitimate
president and was invested as such by the Venezuelan National Assembly
(Asamblea Nacional). Opposition leaders and international media
consider the government of Maduro to be a dictatorship.
Beginning in February 2014, hundreds of thousands of
protested over high levels of criminal violence, corruption,
hyperinflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods due to policies of
the federal government. Demonstrations and riots have left over
40 fatalities in the unrest between both Chavistas and opposition
protesters, and has led to the arrest of opposition leaders such as
Leopoldo López and
Antonio Ledezma . Human rights groups have
strongly condemned the arrest of Leopoldo López.
2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election , the opposition gained
a majority. Further information:
Crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela and
2017 Venezuelan constitutional crisis
The following year, in a July 2016 decree, President Maduro used his
executive power to declare a state of economic emergency. The decree
could force citizens to work in agricultural fields and farms for
60-day (or longer) periods to supply food to the country. Colombian
border crossings have been temporarily opened to allow
purchase food and basic household and health items in
mid-2016. In September 2016, a study published in the
Diario Las Américas _ indicated that 15% of
Venezuelans are eating "food waste discarded by commercial
In October 2016,
Fox News Latino reported that during a month-long
riot at the
Táchira Detention Center in Caracas, 40 inmates
dismembered and consumed three fellow inmates. There have been close
to 200 prison riots in
Venezuela in 2016, with the cause being
attributed to a worsening social situation, increasing poverty, and
food shortages leading to over crowded prisons.
In March 2017, opposition leaders branded President Nicolas Maduro a
dictator after the Maduro-aligned Supreme Court - which had been
overturning most National Assembly decisions since the opposition took
control of the Congress - took over the functions of Congress, pushing
a lengthy political standoff to new heights. However, the Supreme
Court quickly backed down and reversed its decision on 1 April 2017.
Geography of Venezuela
Venezuela map of Köppen
Venezuela is located in the north of South America; geologically, its
mainland rests on the
South American Plate . It has a total area of
916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) and a land area of 882,050 km2 (340,560 sq
mi), making it the 33rd largest country in the world . The territory
it controls lies between latitudes 0° and 13°N , and longitudes 59°
and 74°W .
Shaped roughly like a triangle, the country has a 2,800 km (1,700 mi)
coastline in the north, which includes numerous islands in the
Caribbean, and in the northeast borders the northern Atlantic Ocean.
Most observers describe
Venezuela in terms of four fairly well-defined
topographical regions: the
Maracaibo lowlands in the northwest, the
northern mountains extending in a broad east-west arc from the
Colombian border along the northern Caribbean coast, the wide plains
in central Venezuela, and the
Guiana Highlands in the southeast.
The northern mountains are the extreme northeastern extensions of
Andes mountain range.
Pico Bolívar , the nation's
highest point at 4,979 m (16,335 ft), lies in this region. To the
south, the dissected
Guiana Highlands contain the northern fringes of
Amazon Basin and
Angel Falls , the world's highest waterfall, as
well as _tepuis _, large table-like mountains. The country's center is
characterized by the _llanos_, which are extensive plains that stretch
from the Colombian border in the far west to the
Orinoco River delta
in the east. The Orinoco, with its rich alluvial soils , binds the
largest and most important river system of the country; it originates
in one of the largest watersheds in Latin America. The Caroní and the
Apure are other major rivers.
Colombia to the west,
Guyana to the east, and
Brazil to the south. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago,
Aruba , and the
Leeward Antilles lie near the
Venezuela has territorial disputes with Guyana
(formerly United Kingdom), largely concerning the Essequibo area, and
Colombia concerning the
Gulf of Venezuela . In 1895, after years
of diplomatic attempts to solve the border dispute, from Venezuela,
the dispute over the
Essequibo River border flared up, it was
submitted to a "neutral" commission (composed of British, American,
and Russian representatives and without a direct Venezuelan
representative), which in 1899 decided mostly against Venezuela's
Venezuela's most significant natural resources are petroleum and
natural gas , iron ore , gold , and other minerals. It also has large
areas of arable land and water. View of the tepuis, Kukenan and
Roraima , in the
Gran Sabana .
Canaima National Park
* Geography of Venezuela
Venezuelan Coastal Range _ in Vargas
Tepui _ in Amazonas
Snowstorm in _
Pico El Águila _ in Mérida
Morrocoy National Park _ in
Churun River in Bolívar _
_Los Llanos _ in
Climate of Venezuela Venezuelan climatic types,
according to their thermal floors.
Venezuela is entirely located in the tropics over the
around 12° N. Its climate varies from humid low-elevation plains,
where average annual temperatures range as high as 35 °C (95.0 °F),
to glaciers and highlands (the _páramos _) with an average yearly
temperature of 8 °C (46.4 °F). Annual rainfall varies from 430 mm
(16.9 in) in the semiarid portions of the northwest to over 1,000 mm
(39.4 in) in the
Orinoco Delta of the far east and the Amazonian
Jungle in the south. The precipitation level is lower in the period
from November to April and later in the year from August to October.
These periods are referred to as hot-humid and cold-dry seasons.
Another characteristic of the climate is this variation throughout the
country by the existence of a mountain range called "Cordillera de la
Costa" which crosses the country from east to west. The majority of
the population lives in these mountains.
The country falls into four horizontal temperature zones based
primarily on elevation, having tropical, dry, temperate with dry
winters, and polar (alpine tundra ) climates, amongst others. In
the tropical zone—below 800 m (2,625 ft)—temperatures are hot,
with yearly averages ranging between 26 and 28 °C (78.8 and 82.4
°F). The temperate zone ranges between 800 and 2,000 m (2,625 and
6,562 ft) with averages from 12 to 25 °C (53.6 to 77.0 °F); many of
Venezuela's cities, including the capital, lie in this region. Colder
conditions with temperatures from 9 to 11 °C (48.2 to 51.8 °F) are
found in the cool zone between 2,000 and 3,000 m (6,562 and 9,843 ft),
especially in the Venezuelan Andes, where pastureland and permanent
snowfield with yearly averages below 8 °C (46 °F) cover land above
3,000 meters (9,843 ft) in the _páramos_.
The highest temperature recorded was 42 °C (108 °F) in
and the lowest temperature recorded was −11 °C (12 °F), it has
been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at
Páramo de Piedras
Mérida state ), even though no official reports exist,
lower temperatures in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida
Tropical savanna climate (Aw ) in Los Llanos
Tropical monsoon climate (Am ) in
Sur del Lago
Tropical rainforest climate (Af ) in
Hot desert climate (BWh ) in
Medanos de Coro National Park
Hot semi-arid climate (BSh ) in
Temperate highland climate without dry season (Cfb ) in Auyan
Temperate highland climate with dry season (Cwb ) in Cordillera de
Alpine tundra climate (ETH ) in
Cordillera de Mérida
Alpine tundra climate (ETH ) in
Sierra La Culata
Alpine glacier climate (EFH ) in
Natural regions of Venezuela ,
Fauna of Venezuela ,
Flora of Venezuela ,
National symbols of Venezuela , and List of birds
Venezuela Map of
Natural regions of Venezuela
Campylopterus ensipennis , endemic bird of Venezuela.
Venezuela lies within the
Neotropic ecozone ; large portions of the
country were originally covered by moist broadleaf forests . One of 17
megadiverse countries, Venezuela's habitats range from the Andes
Mountains in the west to the
Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via
extensive _llanos_ plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the
Orinoco River Delta in the east. They include xeric scrublands in the
extreme northwest and coastal mangrove forests in the northeast. Its
cloud forests and lowland rainforests are particularly rich. La
Gran Sabana in Bolívar . Typical landscape in the Venezuelan
Venezuela are diverse and include manatees , three-toed
sloth , two-toed sloth , Amazon river dolphins , and Orinoco
crocodiles , which have been reported to reach up to 6.6 m (22 ft) in
Venezuela hosts a total of 1,417 bird species, 48 of which are
endemic. Important birds include ibises , ospreys , kingfishers ,
and the yellow-orange
Venezuelan troupial , the national bird. Notable
mammals include the giant anteater , jaguar , and the capybara , the
world's largest rodent . More than half of Venezuelan avian and
mammalian species are found in the Amazonian forests south of the
Blanquilla Island in
Federal Dependencies .
For the fungi, an account was provided by R.W.G. Dennis which has
been digitized and the records made available on-line as part of the
Cybertruffle Robigalia database. That database includes nearly 3,900
species of fungi recorded from Venezuela, but is far from complete,
and the true total number of fungal species already known from
Venezuela is likely higher, given the generally accepted estimate that
only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered.
Among plants of Venezuela, over 25,000 species of orchids are found
in the country's cloud forest and lowland rainforest ecosystems.
These include the _flor de mayo_ orchid (_
Cattleya mossiae _), the
national flower. Venezuela's national tree is the araguaney , whose
characteristic lushness after the rainy season led novelist Rómulo
Gallegos to name it "_a primavera de oro de los araguaneyes_" (the
golden spring of the araguaneyes).
Margarita Island , Nueva
Venezuela is among the top 20 countries in terms of endemism . Among
its animals, 23% of reptilian and 50% of amphibian species are
endemic. Although the available information is still very small, a
first effort has been made to estimate the number of fungal species
endemic to Venezuela: 1334 species of fungi have been tentatively
identified as possible endemics of the country. Some 38% of the over
21,000 plant species known from
Venezuela are unique to the country.
Angel Falls in the
Canaima National Park
Environmental issues in Venezuela
Venezuela is one of the 10 most biodiverse countries on the planet,
yet it is one of the leaders of deforestation due to economic and
political factors. Each year, roughly 287,600 hectares of forest are
permanently destroyed and other areas are degraded by mining, oil
extraction, and logging. Between 1990 and 2005,
lost 8.3% of its forest cover, which is about 4.3 million ha. In
response, federal protections for critical habitat were implemented;
for example, 20% to 33% of forested land is protected. The country's
biosphere reserve is part of the
World Network of Biosphere Reserves ;
five wetlands are registered under the
Ramsar Convention . In 2003,
70% of the nation's land was under conservation management in over 200
protected areas, including 43 national parks. Venezuela\'s 43
national parks include Canaima National Park,
Morrocoy National Park ,
Mochima National Park . In the far south is a reserve for the
Yanomami tribes. Covering 32,000 square miles (82,880 square
kilometres), the area is off-limits to farmers, miners, and all
Venezuela was one of the few countries that didn't enter an INDC at
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Government of Venezuela and
Politics of Venezuela
Following the fall of
Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958, Venezuelan
politics were dominated by the
Third Way Christian democratic COPEI
and the center-left social democratic
Democratic Action (AD) parties;
this two-party system was formalized by the _puntofijismo _
arrangement. Economic crises in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political
crisis which resulted in hundreds dead in the
Caracazo riots of 1989,
two attempted coups in 1992, and impeachment of President Carlos
Andrés Pérez for corruption in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the
existing parties saw the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez, who had led
the first of the 1992 coup attempts, and the launch of a "Bolivarian
Revolution", beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new
Constitution of Venezuela.
The opposition's attempts to unseat Chávez included the 2002
Venezuelan _coup d'état_ attempt, the Venezuelan general strike of
2002–2003, and the Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004, all of which
failed. Chávez was re-elected in December 2006, but suffered a
significant defeat in 2007 with the narrow rejection of the Venezuelan
constitutional referendum, 2007 , which had offered two packages of
constitutional reforms aimed at deepening the Bolivarian Revolution.
Two major blocs of political parties are in Venezuela: the incumbent
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), its major
Fatherland for All (PPT) and the Communist Party of Venezuela
(PCV), and the opposition bloc grouped into the electoral coalition
Mesa de la Unidad Democrática . This includes
A New Era (UNT)
together with allied parties
Project Venezuela ,
Justice First ,
Socialism (MAS) and others. Hugo Chávez, the central
figure of the Venezuelan political landscape since his election to the
Presidency in 1998 as a political outsider, died in office in early
2013, and was succeeded by
Nicolás Maduro (initially as interim
President, before narrowly winning the Venezuelan presidential
election, 2013 ).
National Assembly of Venezuela building
The Venezuelan president is elected by a vote, with direct and
universal suffrage , and is both head of state and head of government
. The term of office is six years, and (as of 15 February 2009) a
president may be re-elected an unlimited number of times. The
president appoints the vice president and decides the size and
composition of the cabinet and makes appointments to it with the
involvement of the legislature. The president can ask the legislature
to reconsider portions of laws he finds objectionable, but a simple
parliamentary majority can override these objections.
The president may ask the National Assembly to pass an enabling act
granting the ability to rule by decree in specified policy areas; this
requires a two-thirds majority in the Assembly. Since 1959, six
Venezuelan presidents have been granted such powers.
The unicameral Venezuelan parliament is the _Asamblea Nacional_
("National Assembly"). The number of members is variable – each
state and the Capital district elect three representatives plus the
result of dividing the state population by 1.1% of the total
population of the country. Three seats are reserved for
representatives of Venezuela's indigenous peoples. For the 2011–2016
period the number of seats is 165. All deputies serve five-year
The voting age in
Venezuela is 18 and older. Voting is not compulsory
The legal system of
Venezuela belongs to the Continental Law
tradition. The highest judicial body is the Supreme Tribunal of
Justice or _Tribunal Supremo de Justicia_, whose magistrates are
elected by parliament for a single two-year term. The National
Electoral Council (_Consejo Nacional Electoral_, or _CNE_) is in
charge of electoral processes; it is formed by five main directors
elected by the National Assembly. Supreme Court president Luisa Estela
Morales said in December 2009 that
Venezuela had moved away from "a
rigid division of powers" toward a system characterized by "intense
coordination" between the branches of government. Morales clarified
that each power must be independent adding that "one thing is
separation of powers and another one is division".
SUSPENSION OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
Parliamentary Elections were held in
Venezuela on 6 December 2015 to
elect the 164 deputies and three indigenous representatives of the
National Assembly. In 2014, a series of protest and demonstrations
began in Venezuela, attributed to inflation, violence and shortages in
Venezuela. The government has accused the protest of being motivated
by 'fascists ' opposition leaders, capitalism and foreign influence,
despite being largely peaceful.
President Maduro acknowledged
PSUV defeat, but attributed the
opposition's victory to an intensification of the "economic war".
Despite of that, Maduro said "I will stop by hook or by crook the
opposition coming to power, whatever the costs, in any way". In the
following months, Maduro fulfilled his promise of preventing the
democratically- and constitutionally-elected National Assembly from
legislating. The first steps taken by
PSUV and government were the
substitution of the entire Supreme Court a day after the Parliamentary
Elections contrary to the Constitution of Venezuela, acclaimed as a
fraud by the majority of the Venezuelan and international press.
The _Financial Times_ described the function of the Supreme Court in
Venezuela as "...rubber stamping executive whims and vetoing
PSUV government used this violation to suspend
several elected opponents, ignoring again the Constitution of
Venezuela. Maduro said that "the Amnesty law (approved by the
Parliament) will not be executed" and asked the Supreme Court to
declare it unconstitutional before the law was known.
In January, 16th 2016, Maduro approved an unconstitutional economic
emergency decree, relegating to his own figure the legislative and
executive powers, while also holding judiciary power through the
fraudulent designation of judges the day after the election on 6
December 2015. From these events, Maduro effectively controls the
three democratic powers. On 14 May 2016, constitutional guarantees
were in fact suspended when Maduro decreed the extension of the
economic emergency decree for another 60 days and declares a State of
emergency, which is a clear violation of the Constitution of
Venezuela in the Article 338th: "The approval of the extension of
States of emergency corresponds to the National Assembly.". Thus,
constitutional rights in
Venezuela are considered suspended in fact by
a large number of publications and public figures.
On 14 May 2016, the
Organization of American States manifest to be
studying to Apply the
Inter-American Democratic Charter with
sanctions for non-compliance to its own Constitution to Venezuela.
In March 2017, the Venezuelan Supreme Court took over law making
powers from the National Assembly but reversed its decision the
Foreign relations of Venezuela
Throughout most of the 20th century,
Venezuela maintained friendly
relations with most Latin American and Western nations. Relations
Venezuela and the
United States government worsened in 2002,
2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt during which the U.S.
government recognized the short-lived interim presidency of Pedro
Carmona. In 2015,
Venezuela was declared a national security threat by
U.S. President Barack Obama. Correspondingly, ties to various Latin
American and Middle Eastern countries not allied to the U.S. have
strengthened. For example, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad
al-Maliki declared in 2015 that
Venezuela was his country's "most
Venezuela seeks alternative hemispheric integration via such
proposals as the
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas trade
proposal and the newly launched pan-Latin American television network
Venezuela is one of the four nations in the world—along
with Russia, Nicaragua, Nauru to have recognized the independence of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia .
Venezuela was a proponent of OAS's
decision to adopt its Anti-Corruption Convention, and is actively
working in the
Mercosur trade bloc to push increased trade and energy
integration. Globally, it seeks a "multi-polar " world based on
strengthened ties among undeveloped countries.
On April 26, 2017,
Venezuela announced its intention to withdraw from
the OAS. Venezuelan Foreign Minister
Delcy Rodríguez said that
Nicolás Maduro plans to publicly renounce Venezuela's
membership on April 27, 2017. It will take two years for the country
to formally leave. During this period, the country does not plan on
participating in the OAS.
National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela A
Sukhoi SU-30MKV of the Venezuelan Air Force. A
F-16 of the
Venezuelan Air Force.
The Bolivarian National Armed Forces of the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB) are the overall
unified military forces of Venezuela. It includes over 320,150 men and
women, under Article 328 of the Constitution, in 5 components of
Ground, Sea and Air. The components of the Bolivarian National Armed
Forces are: the
Venezuelan Army , the
Venezuelan Navy , the Venezuelan
Air Force , the
Venezuelan National Guard , and the Venezuelan
National Militia .
As of 2008 , a further 600,000 soldiers were incorporated into a new
branch, known as the Armed Reserve. The
President of Venezuela is the
commander-in-chief of the national armed forces. The main roles of the
armed forces are to defend the sovereign national territory of
Venezuela, airspace, and islands, fight against drug trafficking, to
search and rescue and, in the case of a natural disaster, civil
protection. All male citizens of
Venezuela have a constitutional duty
to register for the military service at the age of 18, which is the
age of majority in Venezuela.
LAW AND CRIME
Law of Venezuela and
Crime in Venezuela Murder
rate (murder per 100,000 citizens) from 1998 to 2015.
SOURCES: OVV, PROVEA, UN
* UN line between 2007 and 2012 is simulated missing data. Number
of kidnappings in
* Express kidnappings may not be included in data
Venezuela was the most murderous place on Earth in 2015. In
Venezuela, a person is murdered every 21 minutes. Violent crimes have
been so prevalent in
Venezuela that the government no longer produces
the crime data. In 2013, the homicide rate was approximately 79 per
100,000, one of the world's highest, having quadrupled in the past 15
years with over 200,000 people murdered. By 2015 it had risen to 90
per 100,000. The country's body count of the previous decade mimics
that of the
Iraq War and in some instances had more civilian deaths
even though the country is at peacetime . The capital
Caracas has one
of the greatest homicide rates of any large city in the world, with
122 homicides per 100,000 residents. In 2008, polls indicated that
crime was the number one concern of voters. Attempts at fighting
crime such as Operation Liberation of the People have been done to
crack down on gang-controlled areas but of reported criminal acts,
less than 2% are prosecuted. In 2017 the _Financial Times_ noted that
some of the arms procured by the government over the previous two
decades had been diverted to paramilitary civilian groups and criminal
Venezuela is especially dangerous toward foreign travelers and
investors who are visiting. The
United States State Department and the
Government of Canada have warned foreign visitors that they may be
subjected to robbery, kidnapping for a ransom or sale to terrorist
organizations and murder, and that their own diplomatic travelers are
required to travel in armored vehicles . The United Kingdom's
Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all travel to
Venezuela. Visitors have been murdered during robberies and criminals
do not discriminate among their victims. Former
Miss Venezuela 2004
Monica Spear and her ex-husband were murdered and their
5-year-old daughter was shot while vacationing in Venezuela, and an
elderly German tourist was murdered only a few weeks later.
There are approximately 33 prisons holding about 50,000 inmates.
They include; El Rodeo outside of Caracas, Yare
Prison in the northern
state of Miranda, and several others. Venezuela's prison system is
heavily overcrowded; its facilities have capacity for only 14,000
Corruption in Venezuela
Corruption in Venezuela is high by world standards, and was so for
much of the 20th century. The discovery of oil had worsened political
corruption, and by the late 1970s,
Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso 's
description of oil as "the Devil's excrement" had become a common
expression in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been ranked one of the most
corrupt countries on the
Corruption Perceptions Index since the survey
started in 1995. The 2010 ranking placed
Venezuela at number 164, out
of 178 ranked countries. Similarly, the
World Justice Project ranked
Venezuela 99th out of 99 countries surveyed in its 2014 Rule of Law
This corruption is shown with Venezuela's significant involvement in
drug trafficking , with
Colombian cocaine and other drugs transiting
Venezuela towards the
United States and Europe.
Venezuela ranks fourth
in the world for cocaine seizures, behind Colombia, the United States,
Panama . In 2006 the government's agency for combating the
Illegal drug trade in Venezuela, _ONA _, was incorporated into the
office of the Vice-President of the country. However, many major
government and military officials have been known for their
involvement with drug trafficking; especially with the October 2013
incident of men from the
Venezuelan National Guard placing 1.3 tons of
cocaine on a Paris flight knowing they will not face charges.
STATES AND REGIONS OF VENEZUELA
_ Bolívar _ _Amazonas _ _
Apure _ _
Zulia _ _
Táchira _ _Barinas _
_Mérida _ _Trujillo _ _Lara _ _Portuguesa _ _
Guárico _ _Cojedes _
Yaracuy _ _
Falcón _ _
Carabobo _ _
Aragua _ _Miranda _ _D. C. _
_Vargas _ _
Anzoátegui _ _Sucre _ _
Nueva Esparta _ _
Monagas _ _Delta
Amacuro _ _
Federal Dependencies _ _
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago _ _
Colombia _ _
Brazil _ CARIBBEAN SEA ATLANTIC OCEAN
San Fernando de
San Juan de los Morros
Federal Dependencies 1
El Gran Roque
Federal Dependencies are not states. They are just special
divisions of the territory._
States of Venezuela and
Regions of Venezuela
Venezuela is divided into 23 states (_estados_), a capital district
(_distrito capital_) corresponding to the city of Caracas, and the
Federal Dependencies (_Dependencias Federales_, a special territory).
Venezuela is further subdivided into 335 municipalities
(_municipios_); these are subdivided into over one thousand parishes
(_parroquias_). The states are grouped into nine administrative
regions (_regiones administrativas_), which were established in 1969
by presidential decree.
The country can be further divided into ten geographical areas, some
corresponding to climatic and biogeographical regions. In the north
are the Venezuelan
Andes and the
Coro region , a mountainous tract in
the northwest, holds several sierras and valleys. East of it are
Lake Maracaibo and the Gulf of Venezuela.
The Central Range runs parallel to the coast and includes the hills
surrounding Caracas; the Eastern Range, separated from the Central
Range by the
Gulf of Cariaco , covers all of Sucre and northern
Monagas . The Insular Region includes all of Venezuela's island
Nueva Esparta and the various
Federal Dependencies . The
Orinoco Delta, which forms a triangle covering
Delta Amacuro ,
projects northeast into the Atlantic Ocean.
Largest cities or towns in Venezuela
Puerto La Cruz
Puerto La Cruz
LARGEST METROPOLITAN AREAS
List of metropolitan areas in Venezuela
Economy of Venezuela Graphical depiction of
Venezuela's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.
Central Bank of Venezuela is responsible for developing monetary
policy for the
Venezuelan bolívar which is used as currency. The
President of the
Central Bank of Venezuela serves as the country's
representative in the
International Monetary Fund . The U.S.-based
conservative think tank
The Heritage Foundation , cited in _The Wall
Street Journal _, claims
Venezuela has the weakest property rights in
the world, scoring only 5.0 on a scale of 100; expropriation without
compensation is not uncommon.
Venezuela has a mixed economy dominated
by the petroleum sector, which accounts for roughly a third of GDP,
around 80% of exports, and more than half of government revenues. Per
GDP for 2016 was estimated to be US$15,100, ranking 109th in
Venezuela has the least expensive petrol in the world
because the consumer price of petrol is heavily subsidized.
As of 2011, more than 60% of Venezuela's international reserves was
in gold, eight times more than the average for the region. Most of
Venezuela's gold held abroad was located in London. On 25 November
2011, the first of US$11 billion of repatriated gold bullion arrived
in Caracas; Chávez called the repatriation of gold a "sovereign" step
that will help protect the country's foreign reserves from the turmoil
in the U.S. and Europe. However government policies quickly spent
down this returned gold and in 2013 the government was forced to add
the dollar reserves of state owned companies to those of the national
bank in order to reassure the international bond market.
Manufacturing contributed 17% of
GDP in 2006.
and exports heavy industry products such as steel , aluminium and
cement , with production concentrated around
Ciudad Guayana , near the
Guri Dam , one of the largest in the world and the provider of about
three-quarters of Venezuela's electricity. Other notable manufacturing
includes electronics and automobiles , as well as beverages , and
Agriculture in Venezuela accounts for approximately 3% of
GDP, 10% of the labor force, and at least a quarter of Venezuela's
land area. The country is not self-sufficient in most areas of
agriculture . In 2012, total food consumption was over 26 million
metric tonnes, a 94.8% increase from 2003.
Plaza Venezuela in
Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century,
been one of the world's leading exporters of oil, and it is a founding
OPEC . Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural
commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate
exports and government revenues. The
1980s oil glut
1980s oil glut led to an external
debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, which saw inflation
peak at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rise to 66% in 1995 as (by
1998) per capita
GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from
its 1978 peak. The 1990s also saw
Venezuela experience a major
banking crisis in 1994 . Annual variation of real
Central Bank of Venezuela (2016 preliminary)
The recovery of oil prices after 2001 boosted the Venezuelan economy
and facilitated social spending. With social programs such as the
Bolivarian Missions ,
Venezuela initially made progress in social
development in the 2000s, particularly in areas such as health,
education, and poverty. Many of the social policies pursued by Chávez
and his administration were jump-started by the Millennium Development
Goals , eight goals that
Venezuela and 188 other nations agreed to in
September 2000. The sustainability of the
Bolivarian Missions has
been questioned due to the Bolivarian state's overspending on public
works and because the Chávez government did not save funds for future
economic hardships like other
OPEC nations; with economic issues and
poverty rising as a result of their policies in the 2010s. In 2003
the government of
Hugo Chávez implemented currency controls after
capital flight led to a devaluation of the currency. This led to the
development of a parallel market of dollars in the subsequent years.
The fallout of the 2008 global financial crisis saw a renewed economic
downturn. Despite controversial data shared by the Venezuelan
government showing that the country had halved malnutrition following
one of the UN's Millennium Development Goals, shortages of staple
goods began to occur in
Venezuela and malnutrition began to increase.
In early 2013,
Venezuela devalued its currency due to growing
shortages in the country. The shortages included, and still
include, necessities such as toilet paper, milk, and flour. Fears
rose so high due to the toilet paper shortage that the government
occupied a toilet paper factory, and continued further plans to
nationalize other industrial aspects like food distribution.
Venezuela's bond ratings have also decreased multiple times in 2013
due to decisions by the president Nicolás Maduro. One of his
decisions was to force stores and their warehouses to sell all of
their products, which led to even more shortages in the future. In
2016, consumer prices in
Venezuela increased 800% and the economy
declined by 18.6%. Venezuela's outlook has also been deemed negative
by most bond-rating services.
Tourism in Venezuela
Tourism has been developed considerably in recent decades,
particularly because of its favorable geographical position, the
variety of landscapes, the richness of plant and wildlife , the
artistic expressions and the privileged tropical climate of the
country, which affords each region (especially the beaches) throughout
Margarita Island is one of the top tourist destinations for enjoyment
and relaxation. It is an island with a modern infrastructure, bordered
by beautiful beaches suitable for extreme sports, and features
castles, fortresses and churches of great cultural value.
Hesperia Hotel in the
Margarita Island .
Los Roques And Morrocoy
The archipelago of
Los Roques is formed by a group of islands and
cays that make up one of the main tourist attractions of the country.
With exotic pristine beaches. Morrocoy is a park, consisting of very
small nearby islands to the mainland, which have grown rapidly as one
of the biggest tourist attractions in the Caribbean.
Los Roques Archipelago
Pampatar in the
Canaima National Park is spread over 30,000 square kilometers to the
Brazil , for its size is considered the world's
sixth largest national park. About 65% of the park is occupied by rock
plateaus called tepuis. These are a unique biological environment,
also presenting a great geological interest. Its steep cliffs and
Angel Falls , which is the highest waterfall of
the world, 979 m) are spectacular sceneries.
Shortages in Venezuela Empty shelves in a store
Venezuela due to shortages.
Shortages in Venezuela have been prevalent following the enactment of
price controls and other policies during the economic policy of the
Hugo Chávez government . Under the economic policy of the Nicolás
Maduro government , greater shortages occurred due to the Venezuelan
government's policy of withholding
United States dollars from
importers with price controls.
Shortages occur in regulated products, such as milk, various types of
meat, chicken, coffee, rice, oil, precooked flour, butter prices,
luxuries such as breast implants, and goods including basic
necessities like toilet paper, personal hygiene products, and even
medicine. As a result of the shortages,
Venezuelans must search for
food, wait in lines for hours and sometimes settle without having
certain products. Maduro\'s government has blamed the shortages on
"bourgeois criminals" hoarding goods. Play media Venezuelans
eating from garbage in late-2015.
A drought, combined with a lack of planning and maintenance, has
caused a hydroelectricity shortage. To deal with lack of power supply,
in April 2016 the Maduro government announced rolling blackouts and
reduced the government workweek to only Monday and Tuesday. A
multi-university study found that, in 2016 alone, about 75% of
Venezuelans lost weight due to hunger, with the average losing about
8.6 kg (19 lbs) due to the lack of food.
By late-2016 and into 2017,
Venezuelans had search for food on a
daily basis, occasionally resorting to eating wild fruit or garbage ,
wait in lines for hours and sometimes settle without having certain
products. By early 2017, priests began telling
label their garbage so needy individuals could feed on their refuse.
In March 2017, Venezuela, with the largest oil reserves in the world,
began having shortages of gasoline in some regions with reports that
fuel imports had begun.
PETROLEUM AND OTHER RESOURCES
History of the Venezuelan oil industry and Energy policy of
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves, and the eighth largest
natural gas reserves in the world, and consistently ranks among the
top ten world crude oil producers. Compared to the preceding year
another 40.4% in crude oil reserves were proven in 2010, allowing
Venezuela to surpass
Saudi Arabia as the country with the largest
reserves of this type. The country's main petroleum deposits are
located around and beneath Lake Maracaibo, the
Gulf of Venezuela (both
Zulia ), and in the
Orinoco River basin (eastern
Venezuela ), where
the country's largest reserve is located. Besides the largest
conventional oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves
in the Western Hemisphere,
Venezuela has non-conventional oil
deposits (extra-heavy crude oil , bitumen and tar sands )
approximately equal to the world's reserves of conventional oil. The
electricity sector in
Venezuela is one of the few to rely primarily on
hydropower , and includes the Guri Dam, one of the largest in the
In the first half of the 20th century, US oil companies were heavily
involved in Venezuela, initially interested only in purchasing
concessions. In 1943 a new government introduced a 50/50 split in
profits between the government and the oil industry. In 1960, with a
newly installed democratic government, Hydrocarbons Minister Juan
Pablo Pérez Alfonso led the creation of OPEC, the consortium of
oil-producing countries aiming to support the price of oil.
Venezuela voted to nationalize its oil industry outright,
effective 1 January 1976, with
Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) taking
over and presiding over a number of holding companies; in subsequent
Venezuela built a vast refining and marketing system in the
U.S. and Europe. In the 1990s
PDVSA became more independent from the
government and presided over an _apertura_ (opening) in which it
invited in foreign investment. Under
Hugo Chávez a 2001 law placed
limits on foreign investment.
The state oil company
PDVSA played a key role in the December 2002
– February 2003 national strike which sought President Chávez'
resignation. Managers and skilled highly paid technicians of PDVSA
shut down the plants and left their posts, and by some reports
sabotaged equipment, and petroleum production and refining by PDVSA
almost ceased. Activities eventually were slowly restarted by
returning and substitute oil workers. As a result of the strike,
around 40% of the company's workforce (around 18,000 workers) were
dismissed for "dereliction of duty" during the strike.
Transport in Venezuela
Caracas Metro in Plaza
Venezuela is connected to the world primarily via air (Venezuela\'s
airports include the
Simón Bolívar International Airport in
La Chinita International Airport near
Maracaibo ) and sea (with major sea ports at La Guaira,
Puerto Cabello ). In the south and east the Amazon rainforest region
has limited cross-border transport; in the west, there is a
mountainous border of over 2,213 kilometres (1,375 mi) shared with
Orinoco River is navigable by oceangoing vessels up to
400 kilometres (250 mi) inland, and connects the major industrial city
Ciudad Guayana to the Atlantic Ocean.
Venezuela has a limited national railway system , which has no active
rail connections to other countries. The government of Hugo Chávez
tried to invest in expanding it, but Venezuela's rail project is on
hold due to
Venezuela not being able to pay the $7.5 billion and owing
China Railway nearly $500 million. Several major cities have metro
Caracas Metro has been operating since 1983. The
Maracaibo Metro and Valencia Metro were opened more recently.
Venezuela has a road network of nearly 100,000 kilometres (62,000 mi)
in length, placing the country around 45th in the world ; around a
third of roads are paved.
WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
Water supply and sanitation in Venezuela
Water supply and sanitation in Venezuela has been extended to an
increasing number of people during the 2000s, although many poor
remain without access to piped water. Service quality for those with
access is mixed, with water often being supplied only on an
intermittent basis and most wastewater not being treated. Non-revenue
water is estimated to be high at 62%, compared to the regional average
of 40%. Tap water is relatively inexpensive, because of a national
tariff freeze imposed in 2003 and a policy not to recover capital
costs. Investments are financed primarily by the national government,
with little reliance on external financing. The sector remains
centralized despite a decentralization process initiated in the 1990s
that has now been stalled. Within the executive, sector policies are
determined by the Ministry of Environment. The national water company
HIDROVEN serves about 80% of the population. The remainder is being
served by five state water companies, the Corporación Venezolana de
Guayana (CVG), a few municipalities and community-based organizations.
Since the early 2000s the government encouraged the creation of about
7,500 _Mesas Tecnicas del Agua_, which have both a technical function
and a political mobilization function. Major investment projects
include the restoration of the polluted
Valencia Lake and of the
Guaire river basin in
Demographics of Venezuela Further information: List of
metropolitan areas in
Venezuela Population density of Venezuela
by parroquias (parishes) according to the results of 2011 Census.
Yellow tones denote urban areas.
Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America;
the vast majority of
Venezuelans live in the cities of the north,
especially in the capital Caracas, which is also the largest city.
About 93% of the population lives in urban areas in northern
Venezuela; 73% live less than 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the
coastline. According to a study by sociologists of the Central
Venezuela , over 1.5 million Venezuelans, or about 4% to
6% of the country's population, left
Venezuela following the
Bolivarian Revolution. Though almost half of Venezuela's land area
lies south of the Orinoco, only 5% of
Venezuelans live there. The
largest and most important city south of the
Orinoco is Ciudad
Guayana, which is the sixth most populous conurbation . Other major
Barquisimeto , Valencia ,
Maracay , Maracaibo,
Puerto La Cruz
Puerto La Cruz , Mérida and San Cristóbal .
Venezuelan people ,
Mestizo Venezuelan , White
Italo-Venezuelan , Portuguese
German Venezuelan ,
Arab Venezuelan , and Chinese
RACIAL AND ETHNIC COMPOSITION IN VENEZUELA (2011 CENSUS)
The people of
Venezuela come from a variety of ancestries. It is
estimated that the majority of the population is of mestizo , or
mixed, ethnic ancestry. Nevertheless, in the 2011 census, which
Venezuelans were asked to identify themselves according to their
customs and ancestry, the term _mestizo_ was excluded from the
answers. The majority claimed to be mestizo or white — 51.6% and
43.6%, respectively. Practically half of the population claimed to be
_moreno_, a term used throughout Ibero-America that in this case means
"dark-skinned" or "brown-skinned", as opposed to having a lighter skin
(this term connotes skin color or tone , rather than facial features
Colonia Tovar in
Aragua the largest colony of German
Ethnic minorities in
Venezuela consist of groups that descend mainly
from African or indigenous peoples; 2.8% identified themselves as
"black" and 0.7% as _afrodescendiente_ (Afro-descendant), 2.6% claimed
to belong to indigenous peoples, and 1.2% answered "other races".
Among indigenous people, 58% were
Wayúu , 7% Warao , 5% Kariña , 4%
Pemón , 3%
Piaroa , 3% Jivi , 3%
Añu , 3% Cumanágoto , 2%
Chaima and 1%
Yanomami ; the remaining 9% consisted of other
According to an autosomal DNA genetic study conducted in 2008 by the
University of Brasília (UNB), the composition of Venezuela's
population is 60.60% of European contribution, 23% of indigenous
contribution, and 16.30% of African contribution.
During the colonial period and until after the Second World War, many
of the European immigrants to
Venezuela came from the
Canary Islands ,
which had a significant cultural impact on the cuisine and customs of
Venezuela. These influences on
Venezuela have led to the nation
being called the 8th island of the Canaries. With the start of oil
exploitation in the early 20th century, companies from the United
States began establishing operations in Venezuela, bringing with them
US citizens. Later, during and after the war, new waves of immigrants
from other parts of Europe, the Middle East, and China began; many
were encouraged by government-established immigration programs and
lenient immigration policies. During the 20th century, Venezuela,
along with the rest of Latin America, received millions of immigrants
from Europe. This was especially true post-World War II, as a
consequence of war-ridden Europe. During the 1970s, while
experiencing an oil-export boom,
Venezuela received millions of
immigrants from Ecuador, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Due to
the belief that this immigration influx depressed wages, some
Venezuelans opposed European immigration. The Venezuelan government,
however, were actively recruiting immigrants from Eastern Europe to
fill a need for engineers. Millions of Colombians, as well as Middle
Eastern and Haitian populations would continue immigrating to
Venezuela into the early 21st century.
According to the _World
Refugee Survey 2008_, published by the US
Committee for Refugees and Immigrants,
Venezuela hosted a population
of refugee and asylum seekers from
Colombia numbering 252,200 in 2007,
and 10,600 new asylum seekers entered
Venezuela in 2007. Between
500,000 and one million illegal immigrants are estimated to be living
in the country.
The total indigenous population of the country is estimated at about
500 thousand people (2.8% of the total), distributed among 40
indigenous peoples. The Constitution recognizes the multi-ethnic,
pluri-cultural, and multilingual character of the country and includes
a chapter devoted to indigenous peoples' rights, which opened up
spaces for their political inclusion at national and local level in
1999. Most indigenous peoples are concentrated in eight states along
Venezuela's borders with Brazil, Guyana, and Colombia, and the
majority groups are the Wayuu (west) , the Warao (east), the Yanomami
(south), and the
Languages of Venezuela
Although the country is mostly monolingual Spanish, many languages
are spoken in Venezuela. In addition to Spanish, the Constitution
recognizes more than thirty indigenous languages, including Wayuu,
Warao, Pemón, and many others for the official use of the indigenous
peoples, mostly with few speakers – less than 1% of the total
population. Wayuu is the most spoken indigenous language with 170,000
Immigrants, in addition to Spanish, speak their own languages.
Chinese (400,000), Portuguese (254,000) and Italian (200,000), are
the most spoken languages in
Venezuela after the official language of
Spanish. Arabic is spoken by Lebanese and Syrian colonies on Isla de
Margarita, Maracaibo, Punto Fijo, Puerto la Cruz, El Tigre, Maracay,
and Caracas. Portuguese is spoken not only by the Portuguese community
in Santa Elena de Uairén but also by much of the population due to
its proximity to Brazil. The German community speaks their native
language, while the people of
Colonia Tovar people speaks mostly an
Alemannic dialect of German called _coloniero _.
English is the most widely used foreign language in demand and is
spoken by many professionals, academics, and members of the upper and
middle classes as a result of oil exploration by foreign companies, in
addition to its acceptance as a lingua franca . Culturally, English is
common in southern towns like El Callao , for the English-speaking
native influence evident in folk songs and calypso Venezuelan and
French with English voices. Italian instruction is guaranteed by the
presence of a constant number of schools and private institutions
because the Italian government considered mandatory language teaching
at school level. Other languages spoken by large communities in the
country are Basque and Galician , among others.
Religion in Venezuela
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Religion in Venezuela according to the 2011 census. Catholic (71%)
Atheist (8%) Other religion (3%) No
According to a 2011 poll (GIS XXI), 88 percent of the population is
Roman Catholic (71%), and the remaining 17
Protestant , primarily
Evangelicals (in Latin America
Protestants are usually called Evangelicos). The
religion are 8% (atheist 2% and agnostic or indifferent 6%), almost 3%
of the population follow other religion (1% of them are of santeria ).
There are small but influential Muslim ,
Buddhist , and Jewish
communities. The Muslim community of more than 100,000 is concentrated
among persons of Lebanese and Syrian descent living in Nueva Esparta
Punto Fijo and the
Caracas area. Buddhism in
practiced by over 52,000 people. The
Buddhist community is made up
mainly of Chinese , Japanese , and
Koreans . There are Buddhist
centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and
The Jewish community has shrunk in recent years due to rising
Venezuela , with the population declining from
22,000 in 1999 to less than 7,000 in 2015.
Metropolitan Cathedral of Barquisimeto,
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Mérida
Virgen del Valle Church in
Nuestra Señora del Carmen Cathedral in
Media of Venezuela
The government of
Venezuela since 1999 has suppressed the media.
Culture of Venezuela ,
Music of Venezuela , Sport in
Venezuela , and
Venezuela _ The joropo_, as
depicted in a 1912 drawing by
Eloy Palacios .
The culture of
Venezuela is a melting pot, which includes mainly
three different families: The indigenous, African, and Spanish. The
first two cultures were in turn differentiated according to the
tribes. Acculturation and assimilation, typical of a cultural
syncretism, caused an arrival at the current Venezuelan culture,
similar in many respects to the rest of Latin America, although the
natural environment means that there are important differences.
The indigenous influence is limited to a few words of vocabulary and
gastronomy and many place names. The African influence in the same
way, in addition to musical instruments like the drum. The Spanish
influence was predominant (due to the colonization process and the
socioeconomic structure it created) and in particular came from the
regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, the places of origin of most
settlers in the Caribbean during the colonial era. An example of this
includes buildings, music, the Catholic religion, and language.
Spanish influences are evident in bullfights and certain features of
Venezuela was also enriched by other streams of Indian and
European origin in the 19th century, especially from France. In the
latest stage in the major cities and regions oil of U.S. origin and
manifestations of the new immigration of Spanish, Italian and
Portuguese, increasing the already complex cultural mosaic. For
United States comes the influence of taste for baseball,
US-style fast food, and current architectural constructions.
_ Young Mother_ by Venezuela-born
Arturo Michelena , 1889 Main
Art of Venezuela
Venezuelan art was initially dominated by religious motifs. However,
in the late 19th century, artists began emphasizing historical and
heroic representations of the country's struggle for independence.
This move was led by Martín Tovar y Tovar.
Modernism took over in
the 20th century. Notable Venezuelan artists include Arturo
Michelena, Cristóbal Rojas ,
Armando Reverón ,
Manuel Cabré ; the
kinetic artists Jesús Soto ,
Carlos Cruz-Díez ; and
contemporary artists as Marisol and
Yucef Merhi .
Venezuelan literature originated soon after the Spanish conquest of
the mostly pre-literate indigenous societies. It was originally
dominated by Spanish influences . Following the rise of political
literature during the Venezuelan War of Independence, Venezuelan
Romanticism , notably expounded by Juan Vicente González , emerged as
the first important genre in the region. Although mainly focused on
Venezuelan literature was advanced by poets such as
Andrés Eloy Blanco and
Fermín Toro .
Major writers and novelists include
Rómulo Gallegos , Teresa de la
Arturo Uslar Pietri ,
Adriano González León , Miguel Otero
Silva , and
Mariano Picón Salas . The great poet and humanist Andrés
Bello was also an educator and intellectual (He was also a childhood
tutor and mentor of Simón Bolívar). Others, such as Laureano
Vallenilla Lanz and
José Gil Fortoul , contributed to Venezuelan
Alma Llanera Main article:
Music of Venezuela
Indigenous musical styles of
Venezuela are exemplified by the groups
_Un Sólo Pueblo _ and _
Serenata Guayanesa _. The national musical
instrument is the cuatro . Typical musical styles and pieces mainly
emerged in and around the _llanos_ region, including _Alma Llanera_
Pedro Elías Gutiérrez and
Rafael Bolívar Coronado ),
_Florentino y el diablo_ (by
Alberto Arvelo Torrealba ), _Concierto en
la llanura_ by
Juan Vicente Torrealba , and _
Caballo Viejo _ (by
Simón Díaz ).
The Zulian _gaita _ is also a very popular style, generally performed
during Christmas. The national dance is the _joropo _.
always been a melting pot of cultures and this can be seen in the
richness and variety of its musical styles and dances: calipso ,
bambuco , fulía , cantos de pilado de maíz, cantos de lavanderas,
sebucán , and maremare .
Teresa Carreño was a world-famous 19th
century piano virtuoso. In the last years, Classical Music has had
great performances. The
Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra , under the
baton of its principal conductor
Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio
Abreu, has hosted a number of excellent presentations in many European
concert halls, notably at the 2007 London Proms , and has received
several honors. The orchestra is the pinnacle of
El Sistema , a
publicly financed voluntary sector music education program now being
emulated in other countries.
In the early 21st century, a movement known as "Movida Acústica
Urbana" featured musicians trying to save some national traditions,
creating their own songs but using traditional instruments. Some
groups in this tradition are Tambor Urbano, Los Sinverguenzas, the
C4Trio, and Orozco Jam.
Afro-Venezuelan musical traditions are most intimately related to the
festivals of the "BLACK FOLK SAINTS" SAN JUAN and SAN BENITO. Specific
songs are related to the different stages of the festival and of the
procession, when the saints start their yearly _paseo_ – stroll –
through the community to dance with their people.
Sport in Venezuela See also:
Baseball in Venezuela
The origins of baseball in
Venezuela is unclear, although it is known
that the sport was being played in the nation by the late 19th
century. In the early 20th century, North American immigrants who
Venezuela to work in the nation's oil industry helped to
popularize the sport in Venezuela. During the 1930s, baseball's
popularity continued to rise in the country, leading to the foundation
Venezuelan Professional Baseball League in 1945, and the sport
would soon become the nation's most popular.
The immense popularity of baseball in the country makes
rarity among its South American neighbors—association football is
the dominant sport in the continent. However, football, as well as
basketball , are among the more popular sports played in Venezuela.
Venezuela hosted the 2012
Basketball World Olympic Qualifying
Tournament and the 2013 FIBA
Americas Championship , which
took place in Poliedro de
Although not as popular in
Venezuela as the rest of South America,
football, spearheaded by the
Venezuela national football team is
gaining popularity as well. The sport is also noted for having an
increased focus during the World Cup. According to the CONMEBOL
alphabetical rotation policy established in 2011,
scheduled to host the
Copa América every 40 years.
Venezuela is also home to former
Formula 1 driver,
Pastor Maldonado .
2012 Spanish Grand Prix , he claimed his first pole and
victory and became the first and only Venezuelan to have done so in
the history of Formula 1. Maldonado has increased the reception of
Formula 1 in Venezuela, helping to popularize the sport in the nation.
2012 Summer Olympics , Venezuelan
Rubén Limardo won a gold
medal in fencing .
The Venezuelan cuisine, one of the most varied in the region,
reflects the climatic contrasts and cultures coexisting in Venezuela.
Among them are hallaca , pabellón criollo , arepas , pisca andina,
tarkarí de chivo, jalea de mango, patacón, and fried camiguanas.
Pan de jamón , typical Venezuelan Christmas bread.
Venezuela at major beauty pageants Dayana Mendoza
Miss Universe 2008
Venezuela has been well documented for its success in global beauty
pageantry, headed by the renowned beauty queen maker
Osmel Sousa who
has assisted with 22 victorious titles to date. Furthermore, Miss
Venezuela is a closely followed event throughout the country, as well
as in other competing nations where Venezuelan beauty pageants are
often seen as the mainstream standard of pageantry.
Venezuela has received the following crowns:
* Seven —
Miss Universe crowns.
* Six —
Miss World crowns.
* Seven —
Miss International crowns.
* Two —
Miss Earth crowns.
Venezuela ranks first in the Global Beauties webpage list as the
country with more international pageants titles won. It also has a
Guinness World Record, after
Dayana Mendoza ,
Miss Universe 2008 from
Stefania Fernandez , also from
Venezuela as Miss
Universe 2009 , marking the first time over 50 years in the
competition that a country wins the title in two consecutive years.
Carlos Raúl Villanueva was the most important Venezuelan architect
of the modern era; he designed the Central University of Venezuela, (a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site ) and its Aula Magna. Other notable architectural
works include the Capitolio, the
Baralt Theatre , the Teresa Carreño
Cultural Complex , and the General
Rafael Urdaneta Bridge .
Central University of Venezuela Main article: Education in
Venezuela Illiteracy rate in
Venezuela based on data from UNESCO
and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) of Venezuela.
The literacy rate for the adult population was already 91.1 by 1998.
In 2008, 95.2% of the adult population was literate. Net primary
school enrollment rate was at 91% in 2005. Net secondary enrollment
rate was at 63% in 2005.
Venezuela has a number of universities, of
which the most prestigious are the Central University of Venezuela
(UCV), founded in
Caracas in 1721, the University of
founded in 1891, the University of the
Andes (ULA), founded in Mérida
State in 1810, the
Simón Bolívar University (USB), founded in
Miranda State in 1967 and the University of the East (UDO), founded in
Sucre State in 1958.
Currently, large numbers of Venezuelan graduates seek for a future
elsewhere due to the country's troubled economy and heavy crime rate.
In a study titled _Venezolana Community Abroad. A New Method of Exile_
by Thomas Paez, Mercedes Vivas and Juan Rafael Pulido of the Central
University of Venezuela, over 1.35 million Venezuelan college
graduates had left the country since the beginning of the Bolivarian
Revolution. It is believed nearly 12% of
Venezuelans live abroad
with Ireland becoming a popular destination for students. According
to Claudio Bifano, president of the Venezuelan Academy of Physical,
Mathematical and Natural Sciences, more than half of medical graduates
in 2013 had left Venezuela.
Cases of malaria in
Venezuela according to the Ministry of
Popular Power for Health. Main articles: Health care in Venezuela
Mission Barrio Adentro
Venezuela has a national universal health care system. The current
government has created a program to expand access to health care known
as Misión Barrio Adentro , although its efficiency and work
conditions have been criticized. It has reported that many of the
clinics were closed and as of December 2014, it was estimated that 80%
of Barrio Adentro establishments were abandoned in Venezuela.
Deaths of children under one year in
Venezuela according to the
Ministry of Popular Power for Health.
Infant mortality in
Venezuela was 19 deaths per 1,000 births for
2014, lower than the South American average (by comparison, the U.S.
figure was 6 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013). Child malnutrition
(defined as stunting or wasting in children under age five) was 17%;
Delta Amacuro and Amazonas had the nation's highest rates. According
United Nations , 32% of
Venezuelans lacked adequate sanitation,
primarily those living in rural areas. Diseases ranging from
diphtheria , plague , malaria , typhoid , yellow fever , cholera ,
hepatitis A , hepatitis B , and hepatitis D were present in the
Obesity was prevalent in approximately 30% of the adult
population in Venezuela.
Venezuela had a total of 150 plants for sewage treatment . However,
13% of the population lacked access to drinking water, but this number
had been dropping.
During the economic crisis observed under President Maduro's
presidency, medical professionals were forced to perform outdated
treatments on patients.
Latin America portal
Index of Venezuela-related articles
Outline of Venezuela
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