Coordinates: 7°N 65°W / 7°N 65°W / 7; -65
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela[a]
República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Spanish)
Coat of arms
Motto: Dios y Federación
(English: "God and Federation")
Anthem: 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; -66.917
Recognized regional languages
Ethnic groups (2011)
3.6% Black / Afrodescendant
Amerindians and others
3% Other religion
1% No answer
Federal presidential constitutional republic
• Vice President
Tareck El Aissami
• President of the Constituent Assembly
• President of the National Assembly
Constituent National Assembly
• from Spain
5 July 1811
• from Gran Colombia
13 January 1830
30 March 1845
• Current constitution
15 December 1999
916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) (32nd)
• Water (%)
• 2016 estimate
33.74/km2 (87.4/sq mi) (181st)
$373.119 billion (48th)
• Per capita
$207.789 billion (51th)
• Per capita
high · 71st
Bolívar fuerte[e] (VEF)
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
^ 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 fuerte
ISO 4217 code VEF) worth 1,000 VEB.
Venezuela (/ˌvɛnəˈzweɪlə/ ( listen) VEN-ə-ZWAYL-ə;
American Spanish: [beneˈswela]), officially the Bolivarian
Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de
Venezuela)[n 1], is a federal republic on the northern coast of
South America, bordered by
Colombia on the west,
Brazil on the south,
Guyana on the east, the Dutch Lesser Antilles to the north and
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east.
916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) and has over 31 million
(31,568,179) people. The country has extremely high biodiversity
and is ranked 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number
of species. There are habitats ranging from the
Andes Mountains in
the west to the
Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south via extensive
llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the
Orinoco River Delta in the
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 territories 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. The revolution began with a 1999 Constituent Assembly,
where a new
Constitution of Venezuela
Constitution of Venezuela was written. This new
constitution officially changed the name of the country to República
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
Venezuela is a charter member of the UN, OAS, USAN, ALBA, Mercosur,
LAIA and OEI. The country 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
Guayana Esequiba or the Zona en Reclamación (the "zone under
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 Venezuela.
Oil was discovered in the early 20th century and, today,
the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's
leading exporters of oil. Previously the country was an underdeveloped
exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil
quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The 1980s
oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic
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 2000s gave
Venezuela oil funds not seen since the
1980s. The Venezuelan government then established populist social
welfare policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and
increased social spending, temporarily reducing economic
inequality and poverty. However, such policies later became
inadequate, as their excesses – including a uniquely extreme fossil
fuel subsidy – are widely blamed for destabilizing the nation's
economy. The destabilized economy led to a crisis in Bolivarian
Venezuela, resulting in hyperinflation, an economic depression,
shortages of basic goods and drastic increases in unemployment,
poverty, disease, child mortality, malnutrition, and
crime.[excessive citations] By late 2017, Venezuela
was declared to be in default with debt payments by credit rating
2.1 Pre-Columbian history
Independence and 19th century
2.4 20th century
2.5 Bolivarian government: 1999–present
2.5.1 Hugo Chávez: 1999–2013
2.5.2 Nicolás Maduro: 2013–present
4 Government and politics
4.1 Suspension of constitutional rights
4.2 Foreign relations
4.4 Law and crime
5 States and regions of Venezuela
5.1 Largest cities
5.2 Largest metropolitan areas
Petroleum and other resources
7.1 Ethnic groups
11 See also
14 External links
According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an
expedition led by
Alonso de Ojeda
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, or "Little Venice". The Spanish version of Veneziola is
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 the crew found indigenous people who called themselves the
Veneciuela. Thus, the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the
Main article: History of Venezuela
Timoto-Cuica territory, in present-day Mérida state, Venezuela.
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
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), Auaké, Caquetio, 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
Spanish colonization of the Americas and Colonial
Welser Armada exploring Venezuela.
Colonial city of Coro, in which important samples of an eclectic
architecture that combines Mudéjar, native, and Dutch styles are
preserved. This city houses 602 historic buildings according to
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 [other] 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[update] city of Cumaná. In the 16th century, Venezuela
was 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
Caracas' founder, 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
and 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 1776.
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
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
After a series of unsuccessful uprisings, Venezuela, under the
leadership of Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan marshal who had
fought in the Revolution and the French Revolution, declared
independence on July 5, 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 August 7, 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 June 24, 1821. On July 24, 1823,
José Prudencio Padilla and
Rafael Urdaneta helped seal Venezuelan independence with their victory
in the Battle of 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 Bolivia.
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
José Gregorio Monagas
José Gregorio Monagas abolished slavery in 1854.
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, 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
Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, erupted into the 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
In 1899, 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.
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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.
Angarita granted a range of reforms, including the legalization of all
political parties. After World War II, immigration from Southern
Europe (mainly from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and France) and poorer
Latin American countries markedly diversified Venezuelan society.
Rómulo Betancourt (President 1945–1948/1959–1964), one of the
major democracy activists of Venezuela
In 1945, a civilian-military coup overthrew Medina Angarita and
ushered in a three-year period of democratic rule under the mass
membership 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
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 January 23,
1958. In an effort to consolidate the young democracy, the major
political parties (with the notable exception of the Communist Party
of Venezuela) signed the
Punto Fijo Pact.
Democratic Action and COPEI
would dominate the political landscape for four decades.
Table where the
Punto Fijo Pact
Punto Fijo Pact was signed on 31 October 1958
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
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
Main article: Bolivarian Revolution
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
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
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.
Hugo Chávez suffered "one of the worst cases of Dutch
Disease in the world" due to the Bolivarian government's large
dependence on oil sales.
Poverty and inflation began to
increase into the 2010s.
Nicolás Maduro was elected in 2013 after
the death of Chavez. Chavez picked Maduro as his successor and
appointed him vice president in 2013. Maduro was elected President in
a shortened election in 2013 following Chavez’s death. Despite the
demand for a recount and claims of manipulation by his competitor,
Maduro was announced victorious.
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. In 2015,
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 2014–2018 Venezuelan
protests, which left hundreds of protesters killed.
Nicolás Maduro: 2013–present
Further information: Nicolás Maduro
Nicolás Maduro, the current president.
Nicolás Maduro has been the
President of Venezuela
President of Venezuela since April 14,
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
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
Venezuela ruled 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
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.
In the 2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election, the opposition gained a
Crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela
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
Venezuelans to purchase food and basic household and health items in
Colombia in mid-2016. In September 2016, a study published in the
Spanish-language 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 overcrowded prisons.
In March 2017, opposition leaders branded President Nicolas Maduro a
dictator after the Maduro-aligned Supreme Tribunal, which had been
overturning most National Assembly decisions since the opposition took
control of the body, took over the functions of the assembly, pushing
a lengthy political standoff to new heights. However, the Supreme
Court quickly backed down and reversed its decision on April 1, 2017.
A month later, President Maduro announced the Venezuelan Constituent
Assembly election, 2017 and on August 30, 2017, the 2017 Constituent
National Assembly was elected into office and quickly stripped the
National Assembly of its powers.
In December 2017, President Maduro declared that leading opposition
parties will be barred from taking part in next year's presidential
vote after they boycotted mayoral polls.
Main article: Geography of Venezuela
Venezuela map of Köppen climate classification.
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
Venezuela 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 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
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 the
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, Grenada,
Curaçao, Aruba, and the
Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelan
Venezuela has territorial disputes with Guyana, formerly United
Kingdom, largely concerning the Essequibo area and with Colombia
concerning the Gulf of Venezuela. In 1895, after years of diplomatic
attempts to solve the border dispute, 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 claim.
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. Tepuis are among the attractions of the park, these
mountains are among the oldest exposed formations on the planet.
Main article: 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 <requires correction,
as that would be the same as saying August through April>. 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
Machiques, and the lowest temperature recorded was −11 °C
(12 °F), it has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude
Páramo de Piedras Blancas (Mérida state), even though no
official reports exist, lower temperatures in the mountains of the
Sierra Nevada de Mérida are known.
Main articles: Natural regions of Venezuela, Fauna of Venezuela, Flora
of Venezuela, National symbols of Venezuela, and List of birds of
Map of Natural regions 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.
Choroní coastal town in Henri Pittier National Park,
Venezuela are diverse and include manatees, three-toed
sloth, two-toed sloth, Amazon river dolphins, and
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 Orinoco.
Nueva Esparta state.
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
Venezuela is likely higher, given the generally accepted estimate
that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have so far been
Ángel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, in Canaima
National Park, Bolívar state.
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 "[l]a primavera de oro de los araguaneyes" (the
golden spring of the araguaneyes).
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
See also: 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, and Mochima National Park. In
the far south is a reserve for the country's
Yanomami tribes. Covering
32,000 square miles (82,880 square kilometres), the area is off-limits
to farmers, miners, and all non-
Venezuela was one of the few countries that didn't enter an INDC at
Government and politics
Government of Venezuela
Government of Venezuela and Politics of Venezuela
Following the fall of
Marcos Pérez Jiménez
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
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
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
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), its major
Fatherland for All
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
A New Era (UNT) together
with allied parties Project Venezuela, Justice First, Movement for
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
Nicolás Maduro (initially as interim President, before
narrowly winning the Venezuelan presidential election, 2013).
National Assembly of Venezuela
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
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 legislation." The
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
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 all three branches of government. 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
declared 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
On 14 May 2016, the
Organization of American States
Organization of American States were considering
the application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter
sanctions for non-compliance to its own constitution.
In March 2017, the Venezuelan Supreme Court took over law making
powers from the National Assembly but reversed its decision the
Main article: Foreign relations of Venezuela
President Maduro among other Latin American leaders participating in a
Guayana Esequiba claim area is a territory administered by Guyana
and claimed by 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
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 important ally".
Venezuela seeks alternative hemispheric integration via such proposals
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas trade proposal and the
newly launched pan-Latin American television network teleSUR.
Venezuela is one of four nations in the world—along with Russia,
Nicaragua, and 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
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.
Venezuela is involved in a long-standing disagreement about the
control of the
Guayana Esequiba area.
See also: National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela
A Sukhoi SU-30MKV 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
As of 2008[update], 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 were implemented 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 syndicates.
Venezuela is especially dangerous toward foreign travelers and
investors who are visiting. The
United States State Department
United States State Department and the
Government of Canada
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
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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 winner
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
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
Main article: Corruption in Venezuela
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
Corruption Perceptions Index since the
survey started in 1995. The 2010 ranking placed
Venezuela at number
164, out of 178 ranked countries. By 2016, the rank had increased
to 166 out of 178. Similarly, the
World Justice Project
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,
and 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
Venezuelan National Guard placing 1.3 tons of cocaine on a Paris
flight knowing they will not face charges.
States and regions of Venezuela
Trinidad and Tobago
San Fernando de Apure
San Juan de los Morros
El Gran Roque
Federal Dependencies are not states. They are just special
divisions of the territory.
States of Venezuela
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
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
Largest metropolitan areas
Main article: List of metropolitan areas in Venezuela
Main article: Economy of Venezuela
Graphical depiction of Venezuela's product exports in 28 color-coded
Fashion stores in Sabana Grande district (2018). Vicente Quintero
Central Bank of Venezuela
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
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.
GDP for 2016 was estimated to be US$15,100, ranking 109th
in the world.
Venezuela has the least expensive petrol in the
world because the consumer price of petrol is heavily subsidized.
Los Llanos is a region deeply rooted in the culture of the
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
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 Caracas.
Slums (barrios) are a phenomenon in the main cities of Venezuela.
Business Center Sabana Grande (2018). Vicente Quintero photographer.
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
member of 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
GDP according to the 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
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
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 was deemed negative by most bond-rating services
Main article: Tourism in Venezuela
Beaches and the islands at Mochima National Park.
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.
Shortages in Venezuela
Empty shelves in a store in
Venezuela due to shortages.
Shortages in Venezuela
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.
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 to 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
Venezuelans to 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
Paraguaná Refinery Complex
Paraguaná Refinery Complex in Falcón.
History of the Venezuelan oil industry
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
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
Gulf of Venezuela (both in Zulia), and
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
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
Venezuela is one of the few to rely primarily on hydropower, and
includes the Guri Dam, one of the largest in the world.
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
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.
Main article: Transport in Venezuela
Caracas Metro in Plaza Venezuela
Venezuela is connected to the world primarily via air (Venezuela's
airports include the
Simón Bolívar International Airport in
La Chinita International Airport
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 Colombia. The
Orinoco River is navigable by oceangoing vessels up
to 400 kilometres (250 mi) inland, and connects the major
industrial city of
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[clarification needed] and owing
China Railway nearly $500
million. Several major cities have metro systems; the 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
Source: United Nations
Main article: 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 University of Venezuela, over 1.5 million Venezuelans, or
about 4% to 6% of the country's population, left
the Bolivarian Revolution. Though almost half of Venezuela's
land area lies south of the Orinoco, only 5% of
there. The largest and most important city south of the
Ciudad Guayana, which is the sixth most populous conurbation.
Other major cities include Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maracay, Maracaibo,
Barcelona-Puerto La Cruz, Mérida and San Cristóbal.
Main articles: Venezuelan people, Mestizo Venezuelan, White
Venezuelan, Afro-Venezuelan, Italo-Venezuelan, Portuguese Venezuelan,
German Venezuelan, Arab Venezuelan, and Chinese Venezuelan
Racial and Ethnic Composition (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 or descent).
Colonia Tovar German-style town in
Aragua state is the largest
colony of German Venezuelans.
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
Among indigenous people, 58% were Wayúu, 7% Warao, 5% Kariña, 4%
Pemón, 3% Piaroa, 3% Jivi, 3% Añu, 3% Cumanágoto, 2% Yukpa, 2%
Chaima and 1% Yanomami; the remaining 9% consisted of other indigenous
Venezuelans in a protest in Caracas.
According to an autosomal DNA genetic study conducted in 2008 by the
University of Brasília
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
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
Main article: 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.
Main article: Religion in Venezuela
Religion in Venezuela
Religion in Venezuela according to the 2011 census.
Other religion (3%)
No answer (1%)
According to a 2011 poll (GIS XXI), 88 percent of the population is
Roman Catholic (71%), and the remaining 17
percent 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
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
in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.
The Jewish community has shrunk in recent years due to rising
antisemitism in Venezuela, with the
population declining from 22,000 in 1999 to less than 7,000 in
Main articles: Culture of Venezuela, Music of Venezuela, Sport in
Immigration to 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 article: 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
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
Main article: Venezuelan literature
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
Andrés Eloy Blanco and Fermín Toro.
Major writers and novelists include Rómulo Gallegos, Teresa de la
Parra, 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
Main article: Music of Venezuela
Joropo, also called Música Llanera, is a music genre representative
to Los Llanos and
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 (by
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 St. Benedict the
Moor. 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.
Main article: Sport in Venezuela
See also: Baseball in Venezuela
Venezuela national baseball team
Venezuela national baseball team in 2015
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 (LVBP) 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 hosted the 2012
Basketball World Olympic
Qualifying Tournament and the 2013 FIBA
Championship, which took place in Poliedro de Caracas.
Venezuela national football team, popularly known as the "Vinotinto".
Although not as popular in
Venezuela as the rest of South America,
football, spearheaded by the
Venezuela national football team
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. At the 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
Formula 1 in Venezuela, helping to popularize the sport
in the nation.
In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Venezuelan
Rubén Limardo won a gold
medal in fencing.
Main article: Venezuelan cuisine
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, empanadas, pisca andina,
tarkarí de chivo, jalea de mango, patacón, and fried camiguanas.
Carlos Raúl Villanueva
Carlos Raúl Villanueva was the most important Venezuelan architect of
the modern era; he designed the Central University of Venezuela, (a
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
Venezuela (UCV), founded in
Caracas in 1721, the
Zulia (LUZ) 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
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.
Health care in Venezuela
Health care in Venezuela and 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
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 to the 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
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
^ a b c d e "Resultado Básico del XIV Censo Nacional de Población y
Vivienda 2011 (Mayo 2014)" (PDF). Ine.gov.ve. p. 29. Retrieved 8
^ a b c Aguire, Jesus Maria (June 2012). "Informe Sociográfico sobre
la religión en Venezuela" (PDF) (in Spanish). El Centro Gumilla.
Retrieved 5 April 2015.
^ a b "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org
(custom data acquired via website).
United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 10
^ a b c d "Venezuela". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 20
^ "Income Gini coefficient".
United Nations Development Programme.
United Nations. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF).
United Nations Development
Programme. 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
^ (PDF) http://www.me.gob.ve/media/contenidos/2006/d_269_8.pdf.
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^ World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations
Environment Programme (September 2004). "World Conservation Monitoring
Centre of the
United Nations Environment Programme". World
Conservation Monitoring Centre of the
United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP-WCMC), 2004. Species Data (unpublished, September
United Nations Environment programme. Retrieved 8 January
^ "Geneva Agreement, 17 February 1966" (PDF). United Nations.
^ a b South America. Encarta. Archived from the original on 21 April
2007. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
^ a b "Annex tables" (PDF). World Urbanization Prospects: The 1999
Revision. United Nations. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
^ a b McCaughan 2005, p. 32.
^ a b Kelly & Palma 2006, p. 207.
^ a b Heritage 2002, pp. 618–621.
^ Smilde, David (14 September 2017). "Crime and Revolution in
NACLA Report on the Americas. NACLA. 49 (3): 303–308.
doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1373956. ISSN 1071-4839. Finally, it is
important to realize that the reductions in poverty and inequality
during the Chávez years were real, but somewhat superficial. While
indicators of income and consumption showed clear progress, the
harder-to-change characteristics of structural poverty and inequality,
such as the quality of housing, neighborhoods, education, and
employment, remained largely unchanged.
^ Kevin Voigt (6 March 2013). Chavez leaves Venezuelan economy more
equal, less stable. CNN. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
^ Dan Beeton and Joe Sammut (6 December 2013).
Venezuela Leads Region
Poverty Reduction in 2012, ECLAC Says. Center for Economic and
Policy Research. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
Venezuela Overview. The World Bank. Last updated 17 November 2014:
"Economic growth and the redistribution of resources associated with
these missions have led to an important decline in moderate poverty,
from 50% in 1998 to approximately 30% in 2012. Likewise, inequality
has decreased, reducing the Gini Index from 0.49 in 1998 to 0.39 in
2012, which is among the lowest in the region."
^ "Fuel subsidies have contributed to Venezuela's economic crisis".
^ a b Scharfenberg, Ewald (1 February 2015). "Volver a ser pobre en
Venezuela". El Pais. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
^ Herrero, Ana Vanessa; Malkin, Elisabeth (16 January 2017).
Venezuela Issues New Bank Notes Because of Hyperinflation". The New
York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
^ "Chamber of Commerce: 80% of
Venezuelans are in poverty". El
Universal. 1 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
• Gillespie, Patrick (12 December 2016). "
Colombia as cash crisis escalates". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17
• Gillespie, Patrick (12 April 2016). "Venezuela: the land of
500% inflation". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
• Rosati, Andrew (11 January 2017). "Venezuela's Economy Was
the Worst Performing of 2016, IMF Estimates". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17
^ Gillespie, Patrick (14 November 2017). "
Venezuela just defaulted,
moving deeper into crisis". CNNMoney. Retrieved 15 November
Venezuela in 'selective default'". BBC News. 14 November 2017.
Retrieved 15 November 2017.
^ Massabié 2008, p. 153.
^ Thomas 2005, p. 189.
^ "Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos" (in Spanish). Instituto de Cultura
Hispánica (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional). 1958:
^ Kipfer 2000, p. 91.
^ Kipfer 2000, p. 172.
^ a b c d e Wunder 2003, p. 130.
^ Mahoney 89
^ "Venezuela." Archived 4 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
Friends of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum. (retrieved 9 July 2011)
^ Miguel Tinker Salas (2 August 2004). "Culture, Power, and Oil: The
Experience of Venezuelan Oil Camps and the Construction of
Citizenship". In Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Raul A. Fernandez, Vivian Price,
David Smith, Linda Trinh Võ. Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender,
Migration. Routledge. p. 142.
ISBN 978-1-135-93528-3. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter
^ "Coro and its Port". UNESCO. 1993.
^ Dickey 1892, p. 103.
^ Zamora 1993, pp. Voyage to Paradise.
^ "Alcaldía del Hatillo: Historia" (in Spanish). Universidad Nueva
Esparta. Archived from the original on 28 April 2006. Retrieved 10
^ Gott 2005, p. 203.
^ Ewell 1984, p. 4.
^ Minster, Christopher. "April 19, 1810: Venezuela's Declaration of
Independence". About. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
^ Chasteen 2001, p. 103.
^ Left, Sarah (16 April 2002). "Simon Bolivar". The Guardian.
Retrieved 30 June 2015.
^ a b Gregory 1992, pp. 89–90.
^ "Venezuela". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
^ "History of Venezuela". History World. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
^ a b "
Venezuela – The Century of Caudillismo". Library of Congress
^ "200 años como símbolo de soberanía" (in Spanish). Consulado
Venezuela en Canarias. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
^ Zakaria 1999, pp. 145–146.
^ Humphreys, R. A. (1966). "Anglo-American Rivalries and the Venezuela
Crisis of 1895. Presidential Address to the Royal Historical Society".
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. 17: 131–164.
^ "Login". www.ogj.com.
^ Crow 1980, pp. 616–617.
^ a b "Venezuela". The World Factbook. CIA. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 23
^ Schuyler, George W. (2001). "Health and Neoliberalism:
Cuba". The Policy Studies Organization: 10.
^ "Profile: Hugo Chavez". BBC News. 5 December 2002. Retrieved 5 June
Hugo Chávez and the Future of Venezuela".
^ The coup installed chamber of commerce leader Pedro
Carmona."Profile: Pedro Carmona". BBC. 27 May 2002. Retrieved 6
^ Cannon 2004, p. 295.
^ López Maya 2005, p. 16.
^ "Minister: 2002-2003 strike cost
PDVSA US$12.8bn - BNamericas". 27
^ Jones, Bart (2008), Hugo! The
Hugo Chávez Story From Mud Hut to
Perpetual Revolution, London: The Bodley Head, p386
Venezuela devalues currency against US dollar". Aljazeera.com (9
February 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ Cardenas, Jose R. (26 February 2013) "CARDENAS: Hugo Chavez's legacy
of economic chaos". Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ "The bill for years of mismanagement is coming due". Ft.com (12
February 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ a b "
Venezuela The homecoming". Economist.com (23 February 2013).
Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ a b Farzad, Roben. (15 February 2013) "Venezuela's Double-Edged
Devaluation". Businessweek.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ Mander, Benedict. (10 February 2013) "Venezuelan devaluation sparks
panic". Ft.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ Boyd, Sebastian (7 October 2014). "How
Venezuela Got No Dollars From
$65 Billion Bond Sales". www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 8
^ Neuman, William (5 March 2013) "Chávez Dies, Leaving Sharp
Divisions in Venezuela". New York Times.
^ Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights. Venezuelablog.tumblr.com.
Retrieved on 20 April 2013.
^ a b Corrales, Javier (7 March 2013). "The House That Chavez Built".
Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
^ Worstall, Tim (7 March 2015). "Venezuela's Minimum Wage Is Now $20 A
Month; Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism". Forbes. Retrieved 24
^ Charlie Devereux & Raymond Colitt. 7 March 2013. "Venezuelans'
Quality of Life Improved in UN Index Under Chavez". Bloomberg L.P.
Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 7 March
2013. CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
^ Naranjo, Andrew Cawthorne and Mario. "FACTBOX - Chavez's chosen
successor Nicolas Maduro".
^ Watts, Virginia Lopez Jonathan (15 April 2013). "Nicolás Maduro
narrowly wins Venezuelan presidential election" – via
^ Minaya, Ezequiel (9 February 2013). "
Venezuela Devalues Its Currency
– WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 30 December
2013. (subscription required)
^ Lopez, Virginia (26 September 2013). "
Venezuela food shortages: 'No
one can explain why a rich country has no food'". theguardian.com.
Retrieved 30 December 2013.
^ a b c "Let them eat Chavismo The UN honours
Venezuela for curbing
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