Difference between revisions of "Venezuela"

From Communpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Line 1: Line 1:
{{redirect|Republic of Venezuela|the time when it was called the "Republic of Venezuela" from 1958 to 1999|Fourth Republic of Venezuela}}
'''''Venezuela'''' is an [[emerging]] [[one-party]] state on the northeast coast of [[South America]]. The dictator, [[Nicolás Maduro]], the heir of [[Hugo Chávez]], who was democratically elected. has banned all opposition parties. The [[last election]] is scheduled for May 2018. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country. Private ownership of guns was banned in 2012 and a program of gun confiscation was initiated.<re>http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18288430</ref?
{{about|the country|other uses|Venezuela (disambiguation)}}
{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2013}}
{{Infobox country
| conventional_long_name = Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela{{nobold|{{ref label|name|a|none}}}}
| common_name = Venezuela 
| native_name = {{unbulleted list|item_style=font-size:88%;
|{{native name|es|República Bolivariana de Venezuela}}}}
| image_coat = File:Coat of arms of Venezuela.svg
| national_motto = ''[[Dios y Federación]]''<br />{{small|({{lang-en|"God and Federation"}})}}
| national_anthem = ''[[Gloria al Bravo Pueblo]]''<br />{{small|({{lang-en|"Glory to the Brave People"}})}}<br /><center>[[File:United States Navy Band - Gloria al Bravo Pueblo.ogg]]</center>
| image_map = VEN_orthographic_(%2Ball_claims).svg
| map_caption = {{map caption |location_color=dark green) <br/> Claimed area, but not controlled  (light green |region=[[South America]] |region_color= grey }}
| capital = [[Caracas]]
| coordinates = {{Coord|10|30|N|66|55|W|type:city}}
| largest_city = [[Caracas]]
| official_languages = [[Venezuelan Spanish|Spanish]]<sup>b</sup>
| ethnic_groups = {{unbulleted list
  | 51.6% [[Mestizo]]
  | 43.6% [[Venezuelan of European descent|White]]
  | 2.9% [[Afro-Venezuelan|Black]]
  | 1.2%  others
  | 0.7% <small>[[Afro-American peoples of the Americas|Afrodescendant]]</small>
| ethnic_groups_year = 2011<ref name="Census-ethnics">{{cite web |url=http://www.ine.gob.ve/documentos/Demografia/CensodePoblacionyVivienda/pdf/nacional.pdf |title=Resultado Básico del XIV Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2011 (Mayo 2014) |page=29 |publisher=Ine.gov.ve |accessdate=8 September 2014}}</ref>
| religion = {{nowrap|71% [[Roman Catholicism|Catholic]]<br/>17% [[Protestant]]<br/>8% [[Agnostic]]/[[Atheist]]<br/>3% Other religion<br/>1% No answer<ref name="grumilla"/>}}
| demonym = [[Venezuelans|Venezuelan]]
| government_type = [[Federal state|Federal]] [[Presidential system|presidential]] [[constitutional republic]] <!-- DO NOT CHANGE THE POLITICAL STRUCTURE! VENEZUELA HAS YET TO DECIDE THE ASSEMBLY -->
| leader_title1 = [[President of Venezuela|President]]
| leader_name1 = [[Nicolás Maduro]]
| leader_title2 = [[Vice President of Venezuela|Vice President]]
| leader_name2 = [[Tareck El Aissami]]
| leader_title3 = [[2017 Constituent Assembly of Venezuela|President of the Constituent Assembly]]
| leader_name3 = [[Delcy Rodríguez]]
| leader_title4 = [[President of the National Assembly of Venezuela|President of the National Assembly]]
| leader_name4 = [[Omar Barboza]]
| legislature = [[2017 Constituent Assembly of Venezuela|Constituent National Assembly]]<br>[[National Assembly (Venezuela)|National Assembly]]
| sovereignty_type = [[Independence]]
| established_event1 = from [[Spain]]
| established_date1 = 5 July 1811
| established_event2 = {{nowrap|from [[Gran Colombia]]}}
| established_date2 = 13 January 1830
| established_event3 = Recognized
| established_date3 = 30 March 1845
| established_event4 = {{nowrap|[[Constitution of Venezuela|Current constitution]]}}
| established_date4 = 15 December 1999
| area_km2 = 916,445
| area_rank = 32nd <!-- Area rank should match [[List of countries and dependencies by area]] -->
| area_sq_mi = 353,841
| percent_water = 0.32{{ref label|area|d|none}}
| population_estimate = {{UN_Population|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)}}{{UN_Population|ref}}
| population_estimate_year = {{UN_Population|Year}}
| population_estimate_rank = 44th
| population_density_km2 = 33.74
| population_density_sq_mi = 87.42
| population_density_rank = 181st
| GDP_PPP = $373.119 billion<ref name="imf2">{{cite web |url=http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2017/02/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2015&ey=2022&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&pr1.x=83&pr1.y=4&c=299&s=NGDP_R%2CNGDP_RPCH%2CNGDP%2CNGDPD%2CPPPGDP%2CNGDP_D%2CNGDPRPC%2CNGDPRPPPPC%2CNGDPPC%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPPC&grp=0&a=|title=Venezuela |publisher=International Monetary Fund |accessdate=20 January 2018}}</ref>
| GDP_PPP_year = 2018
| GDP_PPP_rank = 48th
| GDP_PPP_per_capita = $11,722<ref name="imf2" />
| GDP_PPP_per_capita_rank = 101st
| GDP_nominal = $207.789 billion<ref name="imf2" />
| GDP_nominal_year = 2018
| GDP_nominal_rank = 51th
| GDP_nominal_per_capita = $6,528<ref name="imf2" />
| GDP_nominal_per_capita_rank = 83rd
| Gini = 44.8 <!--number only-->
| Gini_year = 2013
| Gini_change = decrease<!--increase/decrease/steady-->
| Gini_ref = <ref>{{cite web |title=Income Gini coefficient |url=http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/income-gini-coefficient |website=[[United Nations Development Programme]] |publisher=[[United Nations]] |accessdate=21 September 2015}}</ref>
| Gini_rank =
| HDI = 0.767 <!--number only-->
| HDI_year = 2011<!-- Please use the year to which the data refers, not the publication year-->
| HDI_change = decrease<!--increase/decrease/steady-->
| HDI_ref = <ref name="HDI">{{cite web |url=http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2016_human_development_report.pdf |title=2016 Human Development Report |year=2015 |accessdate=25 March 2017 |publisher=United Nations Development Programme}}</ref>
| HDI_rank = 71st
| currency = [[Venezuelan bolívar|Bolívar fuerte]]{{ref label|currency|e|none}}
| currency_code = VEF
| time_zone = [[Time in Venezuela|VET]]
| utc_offset = –4
| utc_offset_DST =
| time_zone_DST =
| date_format = dd/mm/yyyy ([[Common Era|CE]])
| drives_on = right
| calling_code = [[+58]]
| cctld = [[.ve]]
| footnote_a = {{note label|name|a|none}} The "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" has been the full official title since the adoption of the new [[Constitution of Venezuela|Constitution of 1999]], when the state was renamed in honor of [[Simón Bolívar]].
| footnote_b = {{note label|languages|b|none}} The Constitution also recognizes all [[indigenous languages of the Americas|indigenous languages]] spoken in the country.
| footnote_c = {{note label|groups|c|none}} Some important subgroups include those of [[Spanish Venezuelan|Spanish]], [[Italo-Venezuelans|Italian]], [[Indigenous peoples in Venezuela|Amerindian]], [[Afro-Venezuelan|African]], [[Portuguese Venezuelan|Portuguese]], [[Arab Venezuelan|Arab]] and [[German Venezuelan|German]] descent.
| footnote_d = {{note label|area|d|none}} Area totals include only Venezuelan-administered territory.
| footnote_e = {{note label|currency|e|none}} On 1 January 2008, a new bolivar was introduced, the ''bolívar fuerte'' (ISO 4217 code VEF) worth 1,000 VEB.
| recognized_regional_languages = [[Languages of Venezuela#Indigenous languages|Indigenous languages]]
| area_magnitude = 1 E11
| country_code =
'''Venezuela''' ({{IPAc-en|audio=en-us-Venezuela.ogg|ˌ|v|ɛ|n|ə|ˈ|z|w|eɪ|l|ə}} {{respell|VEN|ə|ZWAYL|ə}}; {{IPA-es|beneˈswela|am}}), officially the '''Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela''' ({{lang-es|República Bolivariana de Venezuela}}), 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 [[ABC islands (Lesser Antilles)|Lesser Antilles]] to the north and [[Trinidad and Tobago]] to the north-east. Venezuela covers {{convert|916445|sqkm|abbr=on}} and has over {{#expr:floor({{formatnum:{{UN_Population|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)}}|R}}/1e6)}} million ({{UN_Population|Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)}}) people.{{UN_Population|ref}} The country has [[Megadiverse countries|extremely high biodiversity]] and is ranked 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number of species.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.unep-wcmc.org/#?country=VE&dashboard=show |title=World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme |date=September 2004 |accessdate=8 January 2016 |website=World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-WCMC), 2004. Species Data (unpublished, September 2004). |publisher=United Nations Environment programme |author=World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme}}</ref>  There are habitats ranging from the [[Andes]] Mountains in the west to the [[Amazon Basin]] rain-forest in the south via extensive ''[[Los Llanos, Venezuela|llanos]]'' plains, the Caribbean coast and the [[Orinoco Delta|Orinoco River Delta]] in the east.
==Notes and references==
The territory now known as Venezuela was [[Spanish colonization of the Americas|colonized by Spain]] in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to [[First Republic of Venezuela|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 ''[[caudillo]]s'' (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, [[1992 Venezuelan coup d'état attempts|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 [[Venezuelan presidential election, 1998|1998 election]] of former coup-involved career officer [[Hugo Chávez]] and the launch of the [[Bolivarian Revolution]].  The revolution began with a [[1999 Constituent Assembly of Venezuela|1999 Constituent Assembly]], where a new Constitution of Venezuela was written. This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to ''República Bolivariana de Venezuela'' (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
[[Category:Revoutions in progress]]
Venezuela is a [[federation|federal]] [[presidential republic]] consisting of [[States of Venezuela|23 states]], the [[Venezuelan Capital District|Capital District]] (covering [[Caracas]]), and [[Federal Dependencies of Venezuela|federal dependencies]] (covering Venezuela's offshore islands). Venezuela also claims all Guyanese territory west of the [[Essequibo River]], a {{convert|159500|km2|sqmi|0|adj=on}} tract dubbed ''[[Guayana Esequiba]]'' or the ''Zona en Reclamación'' (the "zone under dispute").<ref name="Geneva Agreement, 17 February 1966">{{cite web |url=http://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20561/volume-561-I-8192-English.pdf |title=Geneva Agreement, 17 February 1966 |publisher=United Nations}}</ref> Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America;<ref name="encartaSA">{{cite encyclopedia |url=http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761574914_3/South_America.html |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20070421194631/http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761574914_3/South_America.html |archivedate=21 April 2007 |title=South America |accessdate=13 March 2007 |publisher=Encarta}}</ref><ref name="UNpopstats">{{cite web |url=https://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wup1999/WUP99ANNEXTABLES.pdf |title=Annex tables |accessdate=13 March 2007 |publisher=United Nations |work=World Urbanization Prospects: The 1999 Revision |format=PDF}}</ref> 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, Venezuela has the world's [[List of countries by proven oil reserves|largest known oil reserves]] and has been one of the world's leading [[oil exporter|exporters of oil]]. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as [[coffee]] and [[cocoa bean|cocoa]],  oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The [[1980s oil glut]] led to an [[Latin American debt crisis|external debt crisis]] and a long-running economic crisis. [[Inflation]] peaked at [[Economy of Venezuela#1960s – 1990s|100% in 1996]] and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995{{sfn|McCaughan|2005|p=32}} as (by 1998) [[per capita]] [[GDP]] fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak.{{sfn|Kelly|Palma|2006|p=207}} The recovery of [[Price of petroleum|oil prices]] in the early 2000s gave Venezuela oil funds not seen since the 1980s.{{sfn|Heritage|2002|pages=618–621}} The Venezuelan government then established [[populist]] [[social welfare]] policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, temporarily<ref name="NACLAcrimeREV">{{cite journal|last1=Smilde|first1=David|date=14 September 2017|title=Crime and Revolution in Venezuela|journal=[[NACLA Report on the Americas]]|publisher=[[NACLA]]|volume=49|issue=3|pages=303–308|doi=10.1080/10714839.2017.1373956|issn=1071-4839|quote=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.}}</ref> reducing [[economic inequality]] and [[poverty]].{{refn|{{sfn|Heritage|2002|pages=618–621}}<ref name=Voigt>Kevin Voigt (6 March 2013). [http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/06/business/venezuela-chavez-oil-economy/ Chavez leaves Venezuelan economy more equal, less stable]. ''[[CNN]].'' Retrieved 5 April 2014.</ref><ref>Dan Beeton and Joe Sammut (6 December 2013). [http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/the-americas-blog/venezuela-leads-region-in-poverty-reduction-in-2012-eclac-says Venezuela Leads Region in Poverty Reduction in 2012, ECLAC Says]. ''[[Center for Economic and Policy Research]]''. Retrieved 5 April 2014.</ref><ref>[http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/venezuela/overview 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."</ref>}} However, such policies later became inadequate, as their excesses – especially a uniquely extreme fossil fuel subsidy<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/8768-Fuel-subsidies-have-contributed-to-Venezuela-s-economic-crisis-|title=Fuel subsidies have contributed to Venezuela's economic crisis|website=www.chinadialogue.net}}</ref> – 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 in Venezuela|shortages of basic goods]] and drastic increases in unemployment, poverty, disease, child mortality, malnutrition, and crime.<ref name="ELPAISfeb2015">{{cite news |last1=Scharfenberg |first1=Ewald |title=Volver a ser pobre en Venezuela |url=http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2015/01/30/actualidad/1422646346_475356.html |accessdate=3 February 2015 |agency=El Pais |date=1 February 2015}}</ref><ref name="NYThyperinflation">{{cite news|last1=Herrero|first1=Ana Vanessa|last2=Malkin|first2=Elisabeth|title=Venezuela Issues New Bank Notes Because of Hyperinflation|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/world/americas/nuevos-billetes-venezuela-new-banknotes.html?_r=0|accessdate=17 January 2017|work=[[The New York Times]]|date=16 January 2017}}</ref><ref name=poverty80>{{cite news|title=Chamber of Commerce: 80% of Venezuelans are in poverty|url=http://www.eluniversal.com/noticias/daily-news/chamber-commerce-venezuelans-are-poverty_247647|accessdate=4 April 2016|agency=''[[El Universal (Caracas)|El Universal]]''|date=1 April 2016}}</ref><ref name="VENdepression">{{plainlist|{{bullet}}{{cite news|last1=Gillespie|first1=Patrick|title=Venezuela shuts border with Colombia as cash crisis escalates|url=http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/12/news/economy/venezuela-shuts-colombia-border-cash-crisis/|accessdate=17 January 2017|work=[[CNNMoney]]|date=12 December 2016}}
{{bullet}}{{cite news|last1=Gillespie|first1=Patrick|title=Venezuela: the land of 500% inflation|url=http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/12/news/economy/venezuela-imf-economy/|accessdate=17 January 2017|work=[[CNNMoney]]|date=12 April 2016}}<br>{{bullet}}{{cite news|last1=Rosati|first1=Andrew|title=Venezuela's Economy Was the Worst Performing of 2016, IMF Estimates|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-11/goodbye-recession-hello-depression-venezuela-gdp-takes-10-hit|accessdate=17 January 2017|work=[[Bloomberg.com|Bloomberg]]|date=11 January 2017}}}}</ref>{{overcite|date=July 2017}} By late 2017, Venezuela was declared to be in [[Default (finance)|default]] with debt payments by [[credit rating agency|credit rating agencies]].<ref>{{cite news|last1=Gillespie|first1=Patrick|title=Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis|url=http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/14/news/economy/venezuela-debt-default-sp/index.html|accessdate=15 November 2017|work=[[CNNMoney]]|date=14 November 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=Venezuela in 'selective default'|url=http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41982069|accessdate=15 November 2017|work=[[BBC News]]|date=14 November 2017}}</ref>
According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an expedition led by [[Alonso de Ojeda]] visited the Venezuelan coast. The [[stilt houses]] in the area of [[Lake Maracaibo]] reminded the navigator, [[Amerigo Vespucci]], of the city of [[Venice]], so he named the region ''Veneziola'', or "Little Venice".{{sfn|Massabié|2008|p=153}} The Spanish version of ''Veneziola'' is ''Venezuela''.{{sfn|Thomas|2005|p=189}}
[[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 native word.<ref name="ICH_1958_386">{{cite journal |year=1958 |title=Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos |publisher=Instituto de Cultura Hispánica (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional) |page=386 |language=Spanish}}</ref>
== History ==
{{Main article|History of Venezuela}}
===Pre-Columbian history===
{{double image|right|Paisaje_Meride%C3%B1o_VI.jpg|250|Timote-Cuica languages.png|112|Timoto-Cuica territory, in present-day [[Mérida State|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|Leaf-shaped]] tools from this period, together with chopping and [[Plane (tool)|planoconvex]] scraping balk nibbas, have been found exposed on the high riverine terraces of the Rio Pedregal in western Venezuela.{{sfn|Kipfer|2000|p=91}} [[Late Pleistocene]] hunting artifacts, including spear tips, have been found at a similar series of sites in northwestern Venezuela known as "El Jobo"; according to [[radiocarbon dating]], these date from 13,000 to 7,000 BC.{{sfn|Kipfer|2000|p=172}}
[[File:Palafito between veradas.jpg|thumb|left|[[Stilt houses]] of the [[Maracaibo Lake]] ([[Zulia state]]), formerly they were built by Indigenous in the area, now it is still built and used by indigenous people.]]
It is not known how many people lived in Venezuela before the Spanish conquest; it has been estimated at around one million.{{sfn|Wunder|2003|p=130}} In addition to indigenous peoples known today, the population included historical groups such as the [[Kalina people|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.<ref name=mahoney>Mahoney 89</ref> 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 [[ulluco]]s.<ref name=art>[http://en.amigosprecolombino.es/cultures/central-america-and-intermedia/venezuela "Venezuela."] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20110904200841/http://en.amigosprecolombino.es/cultures/central-america-and-intermedia/venezuela |date=4 September 2011 }} ''Friends of the Pre-Columbian Art Museum.'' (retrieved 9 July 2011)</ref> 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]].<ref name="Salas2004">{{cite book|author=Miguel Tinker Salas|editors=Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Raul A. Fernandez, Vivian Price, David Smith, Linda Trinh Võ |title=Labor Versus Empire: Race, Gender, Migration|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=6-1QnKS6xG4C&pg=PA142|date=2 August 2004|publisher=Routledge|isbn=978-1-135-93528-3|page=142|chapter=Culture, Power, and Oil: The Experience of Venezuelan Oil Camps and the Construction of Citizenship}}</ref>
After the conquest, the population dropped markedly, mainly through the spread of new infectious diseases from Europe.{{sfn|Wunder|2003|p=130}} Two main north-south axes of pre-Columbian population were present, who cultivated [[maize]] in the west and [[manioc]] in the east.{{sfn|Wunder|2003|p=130}} Large parts of the ''llanos'' were cultivated through a combination of [[slash and burn]] and permanent settled agriculture.{{sfn|Wunder|2003|p=130}}
=== Colonization ===
{{Main article|Spanish colonization of the Americas|Colonial Venezuela}}
[[File:Musterung-Welser-Armada.png|thumb|The German [[Welser]] Armada exploring Venezuela.]]
[[File:Casco Central Santa Ana de Coro, estado Falcon, Venezuela.jpg|thumb|Colonial city of [[Coro, Venezuela|Coro]], in which important samples of an eclectic architecture that combines [[Mudéjar]], native, and [[Architecture of the Netherlands|Dutch]] styles are preserved. This city houses 602 historic buildings according to UNESCO.<ref>{{cite web | url = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/658 | title = Coro and its Port | date = 1993 | publisher = [[UNESCO]]}}</ref>]]
In 1498, during his third voyage to the Americas, [[Christopher Columbus]] sailed near the Orinoco Delta and landed in the [[Gulf of Paria]].{{sfn|Dickey|1892|p=103}} 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 paradise):
{{quote|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.{{sfn|Zamora|1993|pages=Voyage to Paradise}}}}
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 {{As of |2008 |alt=present-day}} 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 ''[[cacique]]s'' (leaders) such as [[Guaicaipuro]] (''circa'' 1530–1568) and [[Tamanaco]] (died 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]].<ref name="UNE">{{cite web |publisher=Universidad Nueva Esparta |url=http://www.une.edu.ve/hatillo/historia.htm |title=Alcaldía del Hatillo: Historia |accessdate=10 March 2007 |language=Spanish |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20060428111205/http://www.une.edu.ve/hatillo/historia.htm |archivedate=28 April 2006 |df=dmy-all }}</ref>
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 Municipality|Chacao]] and [[Los Teques]]. The early colonial settlements focused on the northern coast,{{sfn|Wunder|2003|p=130}} 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.{{sfn|Gott|2005|p=203}}
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 the [[Viceroyalty of New Granada]] in the early 18th century, and was then reorganized as an autonomous [[Captaincy General of Venezuela|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 [[pirate]]s and a more fertile and healthy climate.{{sfn|Ewell|1984|p=4}}
=== Independence and 19th century ===
{{Main article|Venezuelan War of Independence}}
[[File:Martin Tovar y Tovar 02.jpg|thumb|left|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 [[American Revolution|Revolution]] and the [[French Revolution]], [[Venezuelan Declaration of Independence|declared independence]] on July 5, 1811.<ref>{{cite web |last=Minster |first=Christopher |url=http://latinamericanhistory.about.com/od/independenceinvenezuela/p/10april19venezuela.htm |title=April 19, 1810: Venezuela's Declaration of Independence |publisher=''About'' |accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> This began the Venezuelan War of Independence. A devastating [[1812 Caracas earthquake|earthquake that struck Caracas in 1812]], together with the rebellion of the Venezuelan ''[[llanero]]s'', helped bring down the first Venezuelan republic.{{sfn|Chasteen|2001|p=103}} A [[Second Republic of Venezuela|second Venezuelan republic]], proclaimed on August 7, 1813, lasted several months before being crushed, as well.<ref>{{cite web |last=Left |first=Sarah |title=Simon Bolivar |url=https://www.theguardian.com/news/2002/apr/16/netnotes.venezuela |work=The Guardian |date=16 April 2002 |accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref>
[[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.{{sfn|Gregory|1992|pages=89–90}} On July 24, 1823, [[José Prudencio Padilla]] and [[Rafael Urdaneta]] helped seal Venezuelan independence with their victory in the [[Battle of Lake Maracaibo]].<ref name="ciawfb">{{cite web |url=http://www.ciaworldfactbook.us/south-america/venezuela.html |title=Venezuela |publisher=''CIA World Factbook'' |accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> New Granada's congress gave Bolívar control of the Granadian army; leading it, he liberated several countries and founded [[Gran Colombia]].{{sfn|Gregory|1992|pages=89–90}}
Sucre, who won many battles for Bolívar, went on to liberate [[Ecuador]] and later become the second president of [[Bolivia]]. Venezuela remained part of Gran Colombia until 1830, when a rebellion led by Páez allowed the proclamation of a newly independent Venezuela; Páez became the first president of the new republic.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=ab55 |title=History of Venezuela |publisher=''History World'' |accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> Between one-quarter and one-third of Venezuela's population was lost during these two decades of warfare, which by 1830, was estimated at about 800,000.<ref name="Caudillismo">"[http://countrystudies.us/venezuela/5.htm Venezuela – The Century of Caudillismo]". [[Library of Congress Country Studies]].</ref>
[[File:Abolicion de la esclavitud en Venezuela.jpg|thumb|left|[[José Gregorio Monagas]] abolished slavery in 1854.]]
The colors of the [[Flag of Venezuela|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 independence.<ref>{{cite news |title=200 años como símbolo de soberanía |publisher=Consulado General de Venezuela en Canarias |url=http://www.consuladodevenezuela.es/contenido.php?idNot=216 |accessdate=30 November 2010 |language=Spanish}}</ref>
[[Slavery]] in Venezuela was abolished in 1854.<ref name="Caudillismo" /> Much of Venezuela's 19th-century history was characterized by political turmoil and [[dictator]]ial 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]] and Venezuela saw as Venezuelan territory, erupted into the [[Venezuela Crisis of 1895]]. The dispute became a diplomatic crisis when Venezuela's lobbyist, [[William Lindsay Scruggs|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.{{sfn|Zakaria|1999|pages=145–146}} Britain ultimately accepted arbitration, but in negotiations over its terms was able to persuade the US on many of the details. A tribunal convened in Paris in 1898 to decide the issue and in 1899 awarded the bulk of the disputed territory to British Guiana.<ref name="Humphreys">{{cite journal |authorlink=Robert Arthur Humphreys |author=Humphreys, R. A. |year=1966 |doi=10.2307/3678723 |title=Anglo-American Rivalries and the Venezuela Crisis of 1895. Presidential Address to the Royal Historical Society |journal=Transactions of the Royal Historical Society |volume=17 |pages=131–164}}</ref>
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]] in [[The Hague]] was agreed. In 1908, [[Dutch-Venezuela War|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.
=== 20th century ===
{{refimprove section|date=July 2017}}
[[File:Flag of Venezuela (1954-2006).png|thumb|Flag of Venezuela until 2006.]]
The discovery of massive [[oil field|oil deposits]] in Lake Maracaibo during World War I <ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-93/issue-23/in-this-issue/exploration/a-modern-look-at-the-petroleum-geology-of-the-maracaibo-basin-venezuela.html|title=Login|website=www.ogj.com}}</ref> 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.{{sfn|Crow|1980|pages=616–617}} 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, [[Italo-venezuelans|Italy]], Portugal, and France) and poorer Latin American countries markedly diversified Venezuelan society.
[[File:Rómulo Betancourt, 1961.jpg|thumb|left|[[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 [[El Trienio Adeco|a three-year period of democratic rule]] under the mass membership [[Democratic Action]].  Initially, under Rómulo Betancourt, until [[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 by [[Marcos Pérez Jiménez]] and Gallegos' Defense Minister, [[Carlos Delgado Chalbaud]], in the [[1948 Venezuelan coup d'état|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 [[Venezuelan presidential election, 1952|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.<ref name="CIA">{{cite web |url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ve.html |title=Venezuela |accessdate=23 July 2010 |publisher=CIA |date=1 July 2010 |work=The World Factbook}}</ref> 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.
[[File:Mesa donde se firmó el Pacto de Punto Fijo.jpg|thumb|right|Table where the [[Punto Fijo Pact]] was signed on 31 October 1958]]
In the 1960s, substantial guerilla movements occurred, including the [[Armed Forces of National Liberation (Venezuela)|Armed Forces of National Liberation]] and the [[Revolutionary Left Movement (Venezuela)|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 [[Venezuelan presidential election, 1968|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 [[Venezuelan presidential election, 1973|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.<ref name="Schuyler_2001_10">{{cite journal |last=Schuyler |first=George W. |work=The Policy Studies Organization |title=Health and Neoliberalism: Venezuela and Cuba |year=2001 |page=10}}</ref>
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,<ref name="BBCprofile">{{cite news |title= Profile: Hugo Chavez |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1925236.stm |accessdate=5 June 2007 | work= BBC News | date=5 December 2002}}</ref>  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#Amnesty to the 1992 coup participants|Rafael Caldera]], with a clean slate and his political rights reinstated.
=== Bolivarian government: 1999–present===
{{Main article|Bolivarian Revolution}}
The 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 America]]n revolutionary leader, prominent in the [[Spanish American wars of independence]] in achieving the independence of most of northern South America from Spanish rule. According to Chávez and other supporters, the "Bolivarian Revolution" seeks to build a mass movement to implement [[Bolivarianism]]—[[popular democracy]], economic independence, equitable distribution of revenues, and an end to [[political corruption]]—in Venezuela. They interpret Bolívar's ideas from a [[populism|populist]] perspective, using [[Socialism|socialist]] rhetoric.
==== Hugo Chávez: 1999–2013 ====
{{Main article|Presidency of Hugo Chávez}}
[[File:Hugo Chávez - Simón Bolívar.jpg|200px|thumb|left|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.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.coha.org/hugo-chavez-and-the-future-of-venezuela/|title=Hugo Chávez and the Future of Venezuela|publisher=}}</ref>
In April 2002, Chávez was briefly ousted from power in the [[2002 Venezuelan coup d'état attempt]] following popular demonstrations by his opponents,<ref>The coup installed chamber of commerce leader [[Pedro Carmona]].{{cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1927678.stm |title=Profile: Pedro Carmona |date=27 May 2002 |publisher=BBC |accessdate=6 February 2009}}</ref> but he was returned to power after two days as a result of demonstrations by poor Chávez supporters in Caracas and actions by the military.{{sfn|Cannon|2004|p=295}}{{sfn|López Maya|2005|p=16}}
Chávez also remained in power after an all-out national strike that lasted [[Venezuelan general strike of 2002–2003|from December 2002 to February 2003]], including a strike/lockout in the state oil company [[PDVSA]].<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/oilandgas/Minister:_2002-2003_strike_cost_PDVSA_US*12,8bn|title=Minister: 2002-2003 strike cost PDVSA US$12.8bn - BNamericas|date=27 July 2005|publisher=}}</ref> 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.<ref name="J386">Jones, Bart (2008), ''Hugo! The Hugo Chávez Story From Mud Hut to Perpetual Revolution'', London: The Bodley Head, p386</ref> 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.<ref>[http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/02/2013296490217208.html "Venezuela devalues currency against US dollar"]. Aljazeera.com (9 February 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref><ref>Cardenas, Jose R. (26 February 2013) [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/26/hugo-chavezs-legacy-of-economic-chaos/ "CARDENAS: Hugo Chavez's legacy of economic chaos"]. Washingtontimes.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref><ref>[http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/399ce5c6-751f-11e2-a9f3-00144feabdc0.html "The bill for years of mismanagement is coming due"]. Ft.com (12 February 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref><ref name="Economist">[https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21572202-return-hugo-ch%C3%A1vez-his-country-suggests-one-way-or-another-end-venezuelas "Venezuela The homecoming"]. Economist.com (23 February 2013). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref><ref name="Businessweek">Farzad, Roben. (15 February 2013) [http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-15/venezuelas-double-edged-bolivar-devaluation "Venezuela's Double-Edged Devaluation"]. Businessweek.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref> 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.<ref>Mander, Benedict. (10 February 2013) [http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/12e9f32e-739e-11e2-9e92-00144feabdc0.html "Venezuelan devaluation sparks panic"]. Ft.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref> The profits of the oil industry have been lost to "social engineering" and corruption, instead of investments needed to maintain oil production.<ref>{{cite news |url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-07/how-venezuela-came-away-with-no-dollars-from-sales-andes-credit.html |title= How Venezuela Got No Dollars From $65 Billion Bond Sales |last1=Boyd |first1=Sebastian |date=7 October 2014 |website=www.bloomberg.com |publisher=Bloomberg L.P. |accessdate=8 October 2014}}</ref>
Chávez survived several further political tests, including an [[Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004|August 2004 recall referendum]]. He was elected for another term [[Venezuelan presidential election, 2006|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.<ref>Neuman, William (5 March 2013) [https://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/06/world/americas/as-chavez-worsens-venezuela-expels-two-us-diplomats.html?hp&_r=0 "Chávez Dies, Leaving Sharp Divisions in Venezuela"]. New York Times.</ref> 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.<ref>[http://venezuelablog.tumblr.com/ Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights]. Venezuelablog.tumblr.com. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref>
Venezuela under 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.<ref name="FPmarch2013">{{cite news |last1=Corrales |first1=Javier |title=The House That Chavez Built |url=https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/03/07/the-house-that-chavez-built/ |accessdate=6 February 2015 |agency=[[Foreign Policy]] |date=7 March 2013}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |last1=Worstall |first1=Tim |title=Venezuela's Minimum Wage Is Now $20 A Month; Congratulations To Bolivarian Socialism |url=https://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/03/07/venezuelas-minimum-wage-is-now-20-a-month-congratulations-to-bolivarian-socialism/ |accessdate=24 March 2015 |agency=Forbes |date=7 March 2015}}</ref> Poverty and inflation began to increase into the 2010s.<ref name="UN">Charlie Devereux & Raymond Colitt. 7 March 2013. {{cite web|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-07/venezuelans-quality-of-life-improved-in-un-index-under-chavez.html |title=Venezuelans' Quality of Life Improved in UN Index Under Chavez |publisher=Bloomberg L.P. |accessdate=7 March 2013 |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20141107050220/http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-07/venezuelans-quality-of-life-improved-in-un-index-under-chavez.html |archivedate=7 November 2014 |deadurl=unfit }}</ref> [[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.<ref name="Economist" /><ref>{{cite web|url=https://uk.reuters.com/article/venezuela-chavez-maduro/factbox-chavezs-chosen-successor-nicolas-maduro-idINDEE8B805U20121209|title=FACTBOX - Chavez's chosen successor Nicolas Maduro|first=Andrew Cawthorne and Mario|last=Naranjo|publisher=}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/15/nicolas-maduro-wins-venezuelan-election|title=Nicolás Maduro narrowly wins Venezuelan presidential election|first=Virginia Lopez Jonathan|last=Watts|date=15 April 2013|publisher=|via=www.theguardian.com}}</ref> Venezuela devalued its currency in February 2013 due to the rising shortages in the country,<ref name="Businessweek" /><ref>{{cite news |last=Minaya |first=Ezequiel |url=https://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323951904578292383059267360 |title=Venezuela Devalues Its Currency – WSJ.com |publisher=Online.wsj.com |date=9 February 2013 |accessdate=30 December 2013}}{{paywall}}</ref> [[shortages in Venezuela|which included those of]] milk, flour, and other necessities. This led to an increase in malnutrition, especially among children.<ref>{{cite web |last=Lopez |first=Virginia |url=https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/sep/26/venezuela-food-shortages-rich-country-cia |title=Venezuela food shortages: 'No one can explain why a rich country has no food' |publisher=theguardian.com |date=26 September 2013 |accessdate=30 December 2013}}</ref><ref name="ECONeatCHAVISMO">{{cite news |title=Let them eat Chavismo The UN honours Venezuela for curbing hunger—which is actually getting worse |url=https://www.economist.com/news/americas/21654653-un-honours-venezuela-curbing-hungerwhich-actually-getting-worse-let-them-eat-chavismo |accessdate=22 July 2015 |work=[[The Economist]] |date=20 June 2015}}</ref> In 2014, Venezuela entered an [[economic recession]].<ref>{{cite news|url= https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy-idUSKBN0K81KV20141231|last1=Pons |first1=Corina |last2=Cawthorne |first2=Andrew |title=Recession-hit Venezuela vows New Year reforms, foes scoff |accessdate=24 March 2017 |agency=Reuters |date=30 December 2014}}</ref> In 2015, Venezuela had the world's highest inflation rate with the rate surpassing 100%, becoming the highest in the country's history.<ref name="FPblackbox">{{cite news |last1=Cristóbal Nagel |first1=Juan |title=Looking Into the Black Box of Venezuela's Economy |url=https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/13/looking-into-the-black-box-of-venezuelas-economy-caracas-bolivar-maduro/ |accessdate=14 July 2015 |work=[[Foreign Policy]] |date=13 July 2015}}</ref> Economic problems, as well as crime and corruption, were some of the main causes of the [[2014–17 Venezuelan protests|2014–2017 Venezuelan protests]],<ref>{{cite news|title=Venezuela's economic nightmare takes an ugly turn |url=http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/14/venezuela-protests-inflation/ |accessdate=28 May 2014 |newspaper=CNN Money |date=14 March 2014 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140528060618/http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/03/14/venezuela-protests-inflation/ |archivedate=28 May 2014 }}</ref><ref>{{cite news |last=Garreau |first=Simone |title=Venezuelan Oil Dynamics: Why The Protests Matter |url=https://www.forbes.com/sites/riskmap/2014/05/12/venezuelan-oil-dynamics-why-the-protests-matter/ |accessdate=28 May 2014 |newspaper=Forbes |date=12 May 2014}}</ref> which left hundreds of protesters killed.
==== Nicolás Maduro: 2013–present ====
{{further information|Nicolás Maduro}}
[[File:Nicolás Maduro crop 2015.jpeg|150px|thumbnail|right|[[Nicolás Maduro]], the current president.]]
Nicolás Maduro has been the [[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]] 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 (Venezuela)|National Assembly]] (Asamblea Nacional).<ref>{{cite news |title=Venezuelan opposition challenges Nicolás Maduro's legitimacy |url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/09/venezuela-maduro-challenge |location=London |work=The Guardian |first1=Rory |last1=Carroll |first2=Virginia |last2=Lopez |date=9 March 2013}}</ref><ref>[http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2013/03/08/tsj-sobre-art.233-nicolas-maduro-es-presidente-encargado-con-todas-las-atribuciones-1991.html TSJ sobre Art.233: Nicolás Maduro es presidente encargado con todas las atribuciones] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160101201851/http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2013/03/08/tsj-sobre-art.233-nicolas-maduro-es-presidente-encargado-con-todas-las-atribuciones-1991.html |date=1 January 2016 }}. vtv.gob.ve (8 March 2013).</ref><ref>[http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2013/03/08/asamblea-nacional-inicia-acto-de-juramentacion-de-nicolas-maduro-como-presidente-encargado-2780.html Asamblea Nacional tomó Juramento a Nicolás Maduro como Presidente Encargado (+Video)] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20141030070322/http://www.vtv.gob.ve/articulos/2013/03/08/asamblea-nacional-inicia-acto-de-juramentacion-de-nicolas-maduro-como-presidente-encargado-2780.html/ |date=30 October 2014 }}. vtv.gob.ve (9 March 2013)</ref> Opposition leaders and international media consider the government of Maduro to be a dictatorship.<ref name=reuters-maduro/><ref name=hrw-maduro>{{cite web|url=https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/03/31/venezuelas-crumbling-facade-democracy|title=Venezuela’s crumbling façade of democracy|author=José Miguel Vivanco|publisher=[[Human Rights Watch]]|quote=This ruling is the end of Maduro administration’s façade of democracy.|date=31 March 2017}}</ref><ref name=wpo-maduro>{{cite web|url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2016/10/21/its-official-venezuela-is-a-dictatorship/|title=It’s official: Venezuela is a full-blown dictatorship|author=Francisco Toro|publisher=[[Washington Post]]|date=21 October 2016}}</ref><ref name=nyt-maduro>{{cite web|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/31/opinion/venezuelas-descent-into-dictatorship.html|title=Venezuela’s Descent Into Dictatorship|publisher=[[The New York Times]]|date=31 March 2017}}</ref>
Beginning in February 2014, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have protested over high levels of criminal violence, corruption, hyperinflation, and chronic scarcity of basic goods due to policies of the federal government.<ref>{{cite news |last=Lopez |first=Linette |title=Why The United States Has Done Nothing About Venezuela |url=http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-us-wont-touch-venezuela-2014-4 |accessdate=12 April 2014 |newspaper=Business Insider |date=11 April 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Protesters in Venezuela Press Government |url=https://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304834704579401612202743396 |accessdate=12 April 2014 |newspaper=The Wall Street Journal |date=23 February 2014 |first1=Ezequiel |last1=Minaya |first2=Kejal |last2=Vyas}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Venezuelans protest en masse in rival rallies |url=http://www.theborneopost.com/2014/02/24/venezuelans-protest-en-masse-in-rival-rallies/ |accessdate=12 April 2014 |newspaper=Borneo Post |date=24 February 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Venezuela's Maduro says 2013 annual inflation was 56.2 pct |url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/30/venezuela-inflation-annual-idUSL2N0K90V020131230 |accessdate=19 January 2014 |newspaper=Reuters |date=30 December 2013}}</ref><ref>{{cite news |title=Venezuela Inflation Hits 16-Year High as Shortages Rise |url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-07/venezuela-inflation-hits-16-year-high-as-shortages-rise.html |accessdate=16 February 2014 |newspaper=Bloomberg |date=7 November 2013 |first=Anatoly |last=Kurmanaev}}</ref> Demonstrations and riots have left over 40 fatalities in the unrest between both Chavistas and opposition protesters,<ref name="2014protests">{{cite news |url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/17/us-venezuela-protests-idUSBREA1F0SQ20140217 |title=Venezuela's Lopez says ready for arrest at Tuesday march |last1=Wallis |first1=Daniel |last2=Chinea |first2=Eyanir |date=16 February 2014 |website=reuters.com |publisher=Thomson Reuters |accessdate=16 February 2014}}</ref> and has led to the arrest of opposition leaders such as [[Leopoldo López]]<ref name="2014protests" /><ref>{{cite web |title=Venezuela HRF Declares Leopoldo Lopez a Prisoner of Conscience and Calls for his Immediate Release |work=Human Rights Foundation |url=http://humanrightsfoundation.org/news/venezuela-hrf-declares-leopoldo-López-a-prisoner-of-conscience-and-calls-for-his-immediate-release-00355}}</ref> and [[Antonio Ledezma]].<ref name="INDEPENDENT">{{cite news |last1=Sabin |first1=Lamiat |title=Mayor Antonio Ledezma arrested and dragged out of office 'like a dog' by police in Venezuela |url=https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/mayor-antonio-ledezma-arrested-and-dragged-out-of-office-like-a-dog-by-police-in-venezuela-10058691.html |accessdate=20 February 2015 |work=[[The Independent]] |date=20 February 2015 |location=London}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Sebin detuvo al alcalde Metropolitano Antonio Ledezma |url=http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/150219/sebin-detuvo-al-alcalde-metropolitano-antonio-ledezma |website=El Universal |accessdate=19 February 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Sebin se lleva detenido al alcalde Antonio Ledezma |url=http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/02/19/sebin-se-lleva-detenido-al-alcalde-antonio-ledezma/ |website=La Patilla |accessdate=19 February 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |title=Detuvieron al alcalde Antonio Ledezma |url=http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Ledezma-denuncio-intento-allanamiento-oficina_0_577742355.html |website=El Nacional |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20150220045923/http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Ledezma-denuncio-intento-allanamiento-oficina_0_577742355.html |archivedate=20 February 2015 |df=dmy-all }}</ref> Human rights groups have strongly condemned the arrest of Leopoldo López.<ref>{{cite web |title=Venezuela: Human rights groups reject condemnation of jailed Leopoldo Lopez as 'baseless' |url=http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/venezuela-human-rights-groups-reject-condemnation-jailed-leopoldo-lopez-baseless-1519333 |website=International Business Times UK |accessdate=17 November 2015}}</ref>
In the [[2015 Venezuelan parliamentary election]], the opposition gained a majority.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-06/venezuelans-to-vote-in-polls-seen-handing-congress-to-opposition|title=Venezuela Seen Handing Congress to Opposition in Sunday Vote|last=Rosati|first=Andrew|last2=Soto|first2=Noris|date=6 December 2015|website=Bloomberg L.P.|publisher=|access-date=22 August 2016}}</ref>
{{further information|Crisis in Bolivarian Venezuela|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.<ref name="venezuela-decree-farm-labor">{{cite news |title=Venezuela's new decree: Forced farm work for citizens |url=http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/29/news/economy/venezuela-decree-farm-labor/ |accessdate=29 July 2016 |work=[[CNN]] |date=29 June 2016}}</ref> Colombian border crossings have been temporarily opened to allow Venezuelans to purchase food and basic household and health items in Colombia in mid-2016.<ref name="Venezuelans Cross Into Colombia In Search Of Food">{{cite news |title=Thousands Of Venezuelans Cross Into Colombia In Search Of Food And Medicine |url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/venezuela-colombia-bridge-photo_us_578be683e4b0867123e1ab77 |accessdate=29 July 2016 |work=[[The Huffington Post]] |date=17 July 2016}}</ref> In September 2016, a study published in the Spanish-language ''[[Diario Las Américas]]''<ref name="Hambre en Venezuela: El 15,7%  de los venezolanos se ha alimentado de residuos">{{cite news |title=Hambre en Venezuela: El 15,7% de los venezolanos se ha alimentado de residuos |url=http://www.diariolasamericas.com/america-latina/hambre-venezuela-el-157-de-los-venezolanos-se-ha-alimentado-residuos-n4102524 |accessdate=September 9, 2016 |work=[[Diario Las Américas]] |date=9 September 2016}}</ref> indicated that 15% of Venezuelans are eating "food waste discarded by commercial establishments".
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.<ref name="Man claims son was eaten by fellow inmates during riot in Venezuelan prison">{{cite news |title=Man claims son was eaten by fellow inmates during riot in Venezuelan prison|url=http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/10/14/man-claims-son-was-eaten-by-fellow-inmates-during-riot-in-venezuelan-prison/ |accessdate=15 October 2016 |publisher=[[Fox News]] |date=14 October 2016}}</ref>
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.<ref name=reuters-maduro>{{cite news |title=Venezuela's Maduro decried as 'dictator' after Congress annulled |url=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-idUSKBN17122M |accessdate=26 April 2017 |publisher=[[Reuters]] |date=31 March 2017}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/11/venezuelas-nicolas-maduro-bans-opposition-parties-election/|title=Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro bans opposition parties from election|first=Agence|last=France-Presse|date=11 December 2017|publisher=|via=www.telegraph.co.uk}}</ref>
== Geography ==
{{Main article|Geography of Venezuela}}
{{Multiple image|direction=vertical|width=300|align=left|image1=Venezuela Köppen.png|caption1=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 {{convert|916445|km2|abbr=on}} and a land area of {{convert|882050|km2|abbr=on}}, making Venezuela the [[List of countries and outlying territories by total area|33rd largest country in the world]]. The territory it controls lies between latitudes [[equator|0°]] and [[13th parallel north|13°N]] and longitudes [[59th meridian west|59°]] and [[74th meridian west|74°W]].
Shaped roughly like a triangle, the country has a {{convert|2800|km|abbr=on|adj=on}} 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 [[topography|topographical]] regions: the [[Maracaibo Basin|Maracaibo lowlands]] in the northwest, the northern mountains extending in a broad east-west arc from the Colombian border along the northern Caribbean coast, the wide plains in central Venezuela, and the [[Guiana Highlands]] in the southeast.
The northern mountains are the extreme northeastern extensions of South America's Andes mountain range. [[Pico Bolívar]], the nation's highest point at {{convert|4979|m|ft|0|abbr=on}}, lies in this region. To the south, the dissected [[Guayana Region|Guiana Highlands]] contain the northern fringes of the Amazon Basin and [[Angel Falls]], the world's highest waterfall, as well as ''[[tepui]]s'', 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 [[river delta|delta]] in the east. The Orinoco, with its rich [[alluvium|alluvial soils]], binds the largest and most important [[Drainage system (geomorphology)|river system]] of the country; it originates in one of the largest [[drainage basin|watersheds]] in Latin America. The [[Caroní River (Venezuela)|Caroní]] and the [[Apure River|Apure]] are other major rivers.
Venezuela borders 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 coast. Venezuela has territorial disputes with Guyana, formerly United Kingdom, largely concerning the [[Guayana Esequiba|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.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/venezuela1895.htm |title=Venezuela Boundary Dispute, 1895–1899}}</ref>
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.
[[File:Kukenan Roraima GS.jpg|thumb|700px|center|{{center|View of the tepuis, [[Kukenán-tepui|Kukenan]] and [[Mount Roraima|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.<ref>{{cite|url=http://www.parkswatch.org/parkprofiles/pdf/cenp_eng.pdf|format=pdf|author=Parks Watch|title=Venezuela Canaima National Park|date=December 2004}}</ref>}}]]
=== Climate ===
{{Main article|Climate of Venezuela}}
[[File:ClimateZones_Venezuela.png|thumb|left|250px|Venezuelan climatic types, according to their thermal floors.]]
Venezuela is entirely located in the tropics over the Equator to around 12° N. Its climate varies from humid low-elevation plains, where average annual temperatures range as high as {{convert|35|°C|°F|1}}, to glaciers and highlands (the ''[[páramo]]s'') with an average yearly temperature of {{convert|8|°C|°F|1}}. Annual rainfall varies from {{convert|430|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} in the semiarid portions of the northwest to over {{convert|1000|mm|in|1|abbr=on}} 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.<ref name="LOC_2005">{{cite web|url=http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Venezuela.pdf|title=Country Profile: Venezuela|year=2005|publisher=Library of Congress (Federal Research Division)|format=PDF|accessdate=10 March 2007}}</ref>
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.{{sfn|Warhol|2006|p=65}}<ref name="Geografía – Clima">{{cite web |year=2009 |url = http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/venezuela/perfil_geografia4.html|archiveurl = https://web.archive.org/web/20060303153257/http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/venezuela/perfil_geografia4.html|archivedate = 3 March 2006|title = Gobierno en Línea: Geografía, Clima|publisher = gobiernoenlinea.ve| accessdate =27 January 2009}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/alpine.htm|title=The Alpine Biome|accessdate=19 December 2009|work=marietta.edu}}</ref> In the tropical zone—below {{convert|800|m|ft|0|abbr=on}}—temperatures are hot, with yearly averages ranging between {{convert|26|and|28|°C|°F|1}}. The temperate zone ranges between {{convert|800|and|2000|m|ft|0|abbr=on}} with averages from {{convert|12|to|25|°C|°F|1}}; many of Venezuela's cities, including the capital, lie in this region. Colder conditions with temperatures from {{convert|9|to|11|°C|°F|1}} are found in the cool zone between {{convert|2000|and|3000|m|ft|0|abbr=on}}, especially in the Venezuelan Andes, where pastureland and permanent snowfield with yearly averages below {{convert|8|°C}} cover land above {{convert|3000|m|ft|0|sp=us}} in the ''páramos''.
The highest temperature recorded was {{convert|42|°C}} in [[Machiques]],<ref>{{cite web|title=Extreme High Temperature in Venezuela|url=http://www.wunderground.com/climate/local_extremes.asp?extremesstation.db=burtworld&extremesstation.station_id=421|publisher=wunderground|accessdate=16 October 2012|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140920031041/http://www.wunderground.com/climate/local_extremes.asp?extremesstation.db=burtworld&extremesstation.station_id=421|archivedate=20 September 2014|df=dmy-all}}</ref> and the lowest temperature recorded was {{convert|-11|°C}}, it has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at [[Pico Piedras Blancas|Páramo de Piedras Blancas]] ([[Mérida state]]),<ref>{{cite web|title=Extreme Low Temp in Venezuela|url=http://www.wunderground.com/climate/local_extremes.asp?extremesstation.db=burtworld&extremesstation.station_id=438|publisher=Wunderground|accessdate=16 October 2012|quote=NOTE: Pass the cursor over the subrayed record to see the source of this. "This location is probably uninhabited, but is close to the town of San Isidro de Apartaderos. {{convert|-11|°C|°F|abbr=on}} has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at Páramo de Piedras Blancas, Mérida state."|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20130706064537/http://www.wunderground.com/climate/local_extremes.asp?extremesstation.db=burtworld&extremesstation.station_id=438|archivedate=6 July 2013|df=dmy-all}}</ref> even though no official reports exist, lower temperatures in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida are known.
=== Biodiversity ===
{{Main article|Natural regions of Venezuela|Fauna of Venezuela|Flora of Venezuela|National symbols of Venezuela|List of birds of Venezuela}}
[[File:Mapa de regiones naturales (Venezuela).png|thumb|left|Map of [[Natural regions of Venezuela]]]]
Venezuela lies within the [[Neotropic ecozone]]; large portions of the country were originally covered by [[tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests|moist broadleaf forests]]. One of 17 megadiverse countries,<ref>{{cite news|title=South America Banks on Regional Strategy to Safeguard Quarter of Earth's Biodiversity |url=http://www.conservation.org/xp/news/press_releases/2003/091603_andean_eng.xml |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20031004032107/http://www.conservation.org/xp/news/press_releases/2003/091603_andean_eng.xml |archivedate=4 October 2003 |work=Conservation International |date=16 September 2003 }}</ref> Venezuela's [[habitat]]s 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 [[deserts and xeric shrublands|xeric scrublands]] in the extreme northwest and coastal [[mangrove]] forests in the northeast.<ref name="LOC_2005" /> Its [[cloud forest]]s and lowland [[rainforest]]s are particularly rich.{{sfn|Dydynski|Beech|2004|p=42}}
[[File:Escalinatas de Mirador de Choroni Edo. Aragua.JPG|thumb|220px|[[Choroní]] coastal town in [[Henri Pittier National Park]], [[Aragua state]].]]
[[fauna of Venezuela|Animals]] of Venezuela are diverse and include [[manatee]]s, [[three-toed sloth]], [[two-toed sloth]], [[Amazon river dolphin]]s, and [[Orinoco Crocodile|Orinoco crocodiles]], which have been reported to reach up to {{convert|6.6|m|ft|0|abbr=on}} in length. Venezuela hosts a total of 1,417 bird species, 48 of which are endemic.<ref>{{cite web|last=Lepage|first=Denis|url=http://avibase.bsc-eoc.org/checklist.jsp?lang=EN&region=ve&list=clements|title=Checklist of birds of Venezuela|work=Bird Checklists of the World|publisher=Avibase|accessdate=4 May 2007}}</ref> Important birds include [[ibis]]es, [[osprey]]s, [[kingfisher]]s,{{sfn|Dydynski|Beech|2004|p=42}} and the yellow-orange [[Venezuelan troupial]], the national bird. Notable [[mammal]]s 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 [[Amazon Rainforest|Amazonian forests]] south of the Orinoco.<ref name="Bevilacqua_2002">{{Cite journal |last=Bevilacqua |first=M |last2=Cardenas |first2=L |last3=Flores |first3=AL |year=2002 |title=State of Venezuela's forests: A case study of the Guayana Region |journal=World Resources Institute |url=http://archive.wri.org/page.cfm?id=1607&z=? |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20090215051848/http://archive.wri.org/page.cfm?id=1607&z=%3F |archivedate=15 February 2009 |accessdate=10 March 2007 |display-authors=etal |deadurl=yes |df=dmy-all }}</ref>
[[File:VE-pampatar-kastell-bucht.jpg|thumb|220px|[[Margarita Island]], [[Nueva Esparta|Nueva Esparta state]].]]
For the fungi, an account was provided by R.W.G. Dennis<ref>Dennis, R.W.G. "Fungus Flora of Venezuela and Adjacent Countries". Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970</ref> which has been digitized and the records made available on-line as part of the Cybertruffle Robigalia database.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.cybertruffle.org.uk/robigalia/eng/index.htm |title=Cybertruffle's Robigalia – Observations of fungi and their associated organisms |publisher=cybertruffle.org.uk |accessdate=9 July 2011}}</ref> That database includes nearly 3,900 species of fungi recorded from Venezuela, but is far from complete, and the true total number of fungal species already known from Venezuela is likely higher, given the generally accepted estimate that only about 7% of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered.{{sfn|"Georgia Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Developments"|2013|p=36}}
[[File:Salto del Angel-Canaima-Venezuela03.JPG|thumb|220px|[[Angel Falls|Ángel Falls]], the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, in [[Canaima National Park]], Bolívar state.]]
Among plants of Venezuela, over 25,000 species of [[orchidaceae|orchids]] are found in the country's cloud forest and lowland rainforest ecosystems.{{sfn|Dydynski|Beech|2004|p=42}} These include the ''flor de mayo'' orchid (''[[Cattleya mossiae]]''), the national flower. Venezuela's national tree is the [[Tabebuia chrysantha|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]].<ref name="GFW">{{cite web|title=Venezuela: Overview |publisher=Global Forest Watch |url=http://www.globalforestwatch.org/english/venezuela/ |accessdate=10 March 2007 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20061208045046/http://www.globalforestwatch.org/english/venezuela/ |archivedate=8 December 2006 }}</ref> Among its animals, 23% of [[reptile|reptilian]] and 50% of [[amphibian]] species are endemic.<ref name="GFW" /> 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.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.cybertruffle.org.uk/venefung/eng/endelist.htm |title=Fungi of Venezuela – potential endemics |publisher=cybertruffle.org.uk |accessdate=9 July 2011}}</ref> Some 38% of the over 21,000 plant species known from Venezuela are unique to the country.<ref name="GFW" />
=== Environment ===
{{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, Venezuela officially 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.<ref name="Bevilacqua_2002" />  The country's [[biosphere reserve]] is part of the [[World Network of Biosphere Reserves]]; five [[wetlands]] are registered under the [[Ramsar Convention]].<ref>{{cite web |last=Peck |first=D  |year=2000 |title=The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance: Venezuela |work=The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands |publisher=Ramsar Convention Secretariat |url=http://www.ramsar.org/profile/profiles_venezuela.htm |accessdate=10 March 2007 |archiveurl = https://web.archive.org/web/20070211110943/http://ramsar.org/profile/profiles_venezuela.htm |archivedate = 11 February 2007}}</ref> In 2003, 70% of the nation's land was under conservation management in over 200 protected areas, including 43 national parks.<ref name="WRI_2003a">{{cite web |title=Biodiversity and Protected Areas—Venezuela |publisher=World Resources Institute |work=EarthTrends Country Profiles |url=http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/bio_cou_862.pdf |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20070703053321/http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/bio_cou_862.pdf |archivedate=3 July 2007 |format=PDF|year=2003 |accessdate=10 March 2007}}</ref> [[list of national parks of Venezuela|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 {{convert|32,000|sqmi|km2|0|abbr=off}}, the area is off-limits to farmers, miners, and all non-Yanomami settlers.
Venezuela was one of the few countries that didn't enter an [[Intended Nationally Determined Contributions|INDC]] at [[COP21]].<ref>[https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-08/after-two-decades-of-stumbles-carbon-market-pioneers-revving-up#media-2 Carbon Markets Are Making a Slow, But Steady, Comeback]. Bloomberg (8 December 2015). Retrieved on 2016-06-15.</ref><ref>[http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx INDC – Submissions]. .unfccc.int. Retrieved on 15 June 2016.</ref>
== Government and politics ==
{{Main article|Government of Venezuela|Politics of Venezuela}}
Following the fall of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958, Venezuelan politics were dominated by the [[Third Way]] [[Christian democracy|Christian democratic]] COPEI and the center-left [[social democracy|social democratic]] Democratic Action (AD) parties; this [[two-party system]] was formalized by the ''[[puntofijismo]]'' arrangement. Economic crises in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis which resulted in hundreds dead in the Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for corruption in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez, who had led the first of the 1992 coup attempts, and the launch of a "Bolivarian Revolution", beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new Constitution of Venezuela.
The opposition's attempts to unseat Chávez included the 2002 Venezuelan ''coup d'état'' attempt, the Venezuelan general strike of 2002–2003, and the Venezuelan recall referendum, 2004, all of which failed. Chávez was re-elected in December 2006, but suffered a significant defeat in 2007 with the narrow rejection of the [[Venezuelan constitutional referendum, 2007]], which had offered two packages of constitutional reforms aimed at deepening the Bolivarian Revolution.
Two major blocs of [[List of political parties in Venezuela|political parties]] are in Venezuela: the incumbent leftist bloc United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), its major allies [[Fatherland for All]] (PPT) and the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), and the opposition bloc grouped into the electoral coalition [[Mesa de la Unidad Democrática]]. This includes [[A New Era]] (UNT) together with allied parties [[Project Venezuela]], [[Justice First]], [[Movement for Socialism (Venezuela)|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 succeeded by Nicolás Maduro (initially as interim President, before narrowly winning the [[Venezuelan presidential election, 2013]]).
[[File:PalacioLegislativo2 fixed.jpg|thumb|right|upright|[[National Assembly of Venezuela]] [[Palacio Federal Legislativo|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 (government)|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#In Venezuela|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.<ref>{{cite web|title=Ley Orgánica de Procesos Electorales|url=http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/normativa_electoral/ley_organica_procesos_electorales/titulo2.php|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20100929053531/http://www.cne.gov.ve/web/normativa_electoral/ley_organica_procesos_electorales/titulo2.php|archivedate=29 September 2010|publisher=Consejo Nacional Electoral|accessdate=4 April 2011|language=es}}</ref> Three seats are reserved for representatives of Venezuela's indigenous peoples. For the 2011–2016 period the number of seats is 165.<ref>{{cite web|title=Dos mil 719 candidatos se disputarán los curules de la Asamblea Nacional|url=http://www.vtv.gov.ve/noticias-nacionales/37227|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110510075036/http://www.vtv.gov.ve/noticias-nacionales/37227|archivedate=10 May 2011|publisher=''Venezolana de Televisión''|accessdate=4 April 2011|date=10 June 2010|language=es}}</ref> All deputies serve five-year terms.
The voting age in Venezuela is 18 and older. Voting is not [[compulsory voting|compulsory]].<ref name="TG">{{cite news |publisher=The Guardian |title=Compulsory voting around the world |date=4 July 2005 |url=http://politics.guardian.co.uk/apathy/story/0,,1521096,00.html |accessdate=10 March 2007 | location=London | first=Elliot | last=Frankal}}</ref>
The [[Law of Venezuela|legal system of Venezuela]] belongs to the [[Civil law (legal system)|Continental Law]] tradition. The highest [[judiciary|judicial]] body is the [[Supreme Tribunal of Justice (Venezuela)|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 (Venezuela)|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".<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.elinformador.com.ve/noticias/venezuela/poder-judicial/luisa-estela-morales-afirma-division-poderes-debilita-estado/8397|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20100325094828/http://www.elinformador.com.ve/noticias/venezuela/poder-judicial/luisa-estela-morales-afirma-division-poderes-debilita-estado/8397|archivedate=25 March 2010|title=Luisa Estela Morales afirma que la división de poderes debilita al Estado|date=5 December 2009|publisher=El Informador|accessdate=16 January 2010|language=es}}</ref>
=== Suspension of constitutional rights ===
[[Venezuelan parliamentary election, 2015|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,<ref name=Milne>{{cite web|last=Milne|first=Seumas|title=Venezuela protests are sign that US wants our oil, says Nicolás Maduro|url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/08/venezuela-protests-sign-us-wants-oil-says-nicolas-maduro|publisher=The Guardian|accessdate=9 April 2015}}</ref> despite being largely peaceful.<ref name=SVCOprotestINFO>{{cite news|title=Protestas aumentan 278% en primer semestre 2014|url=http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/07/17/protestas-aumentan-278-en-primer-semestre-2014/|accessdate=9 April 2015|agency=La Patilla|date=17 July 2014|language=Spanish}}</ref>
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".<ref>{{cite web|title=Nicolás Maduro: 'Impediré por las buenas o por las malas que la oposición llegue al poder'|url=http://www.prensa.com/mundo/Nicolas-Maduro-Impedire-oposicion-llegue_0_4408059274.html|website=La Prensa|publisher=La Prensa|accessdate=14 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref> 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|Supreme Court]] a day after the Parliamentary Elections<ref name="prodavinci.com">{{cite web|title=La designación de magistrados del TSJ por la AN. ¿Fraude Constitucional?|url=http://prodavinci.com/blogs/puede-la-asamblea-nacional-designar-magistrados-del-tsj-por-jose-ignacio-hernandez-g/|website=ProDavinci|accessdate=14 May 2016}}</ref> contrary to the Constitution of Venezuela, acclaimed as a fraud by the majority of the Venezuelan and international press.<ref name="larazon.net">{{cite web|title=Designaciones de magistrados son un fraude a la Constitución|url=http://www.larazon.net/2015/12/22/alberto-arteaga-sanchez-designaciones-de-magistrados-son-un-fraude-a-la-constitucion/|website=La razón|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref name="el-nacional.com">{{cite web|title=Designación de magistrados obvió fase de impugnación|url=http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Designacion-magistrados-obvio-fasede-impugnacion_0_766123536.html|website=El Nacional|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref name="bbc.com">{{cite web|title=Por qué importan tanto los magistrados que designó el chavismo en Venezuela|url=http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2015/12/151222_venezuela_tsj_magistrados_dp|website=BBC|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref name="ntn24web.com">{{cite web|title=Designación de magistrados del TSJ en Vzla es un "flagrante fraude" a la Constitución|url=http://ntn24web.com/video/paso-a-vzla-chavismo-designo-nuevos-magistrados-83200|website=NTN24|accessdate=14 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref> The ''Financial Times'' described the function of the Supreme Court in Venezuela as "...rubber stamping executive whims and vetoing legislation."<ref name=":0">{{Cite web|url=https://www.ft.com/content/e619b1f6-2805-11e7-bc4b-5528796fe35c|title=Venezuela's broken system..|last=Lansberg-Rodriguez|first=Daniel|date=2017-04-24|website=The Financial Times|page=11|language=en-GB|access-date=2017-04-24}}</ref> The PSUV government used this violation to suspend several elected opponents,<ref>{{cite web|title=El Supremo suspende la proclamación de tres diputados opositores y uno chavista|url=http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2015/12/31/5685209422601d9c788b4641.html|website=elmundo.es|publisher=Unidad Editorial|language=Spanish}}</ref> ignoring again the Constitution of Venezuela. Maduro said that "the Amnesty law (approved by the Parliament) will not be executed" and asked the Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional before the law was known.<ref>{{cite web|title=Maduro pide al TSJ declarar "inconstitucional" la Ley de Amnistía|url=http://elestimulo.com/blog/maduro-sobre-amnistia-tenemos-que-garantizar-que-esta-ley-sea-detenida/|website=El Estímulo|language=Spanish}}</ref>
In January, 16th 2016, Maduro approved an unconstitutional economic emergency decree,<ref>{{cite web|title=Decreto de emergencia económica no puede pasar del 12 de mayo|url=http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Decreto-emergencia-economica-puede-pasar_0_793720683.html|website=El Nacional|accessdate=14 May 2016|language=Spanish|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20160610160317/http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Decreto-emergencia-economica-puede-pasar_0_793720683.html|archivedate=10 June 2016|df=dmy-all}}</ref> 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.<ref name="prodavinci.com"/><ref name="larazon.net"/><ref name="el-nacional.com"/><ref name="bbc.com"/><ref name="ntn24web.com"/> 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,<ref>{{cite web|title=Nicolás Maduro decreta un nuevo Estado de Excepción y de Emergencia Económica en Venezuela|url=http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2016/05/160513_venezuela_maduro_emergencia_economica_ps|website=BBC|accessdate=14 May 2016|page=Spanish}}</ref> which is a clear violation of the Constitution of Venezuela<ref>{{cite web|title=Prorroga del Decreto Emergencia Económica es inconstitucional|url=http://enpaiszeta.com/marquina-prorroga-del-decreto-emergencia-economica-es-inconstitucional/|website=El Nuevo País|accessdate=14 May 2016|language=Spanish|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20160605124340/http://enpaiszeta.com/marquina-prorroga-del-decreto-emergencia-economica-es-inconstitucional/|archivedate=5 June 2016|df=dmy-all}}</ref> 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<ref>{{cite web|title=La ruptura democrática de Venezuela|url=http://runrun.es/opinion/261798/la-ruptura-democratica-de-venezuela-por-asdrubal-aguiar.html|website=RunRunes|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=La dictadura venezolana invitó al podemita que irá a la cárcel por pegar a un socialista|url=http://okdiario.com/espana/la-dictadura-venezolana-invito-al-podemita-que-ira-a-la-carcel-por-pegar-a-un-socialista-98237|website=OK Diario|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=La dictadura venezolana reafirma su naturaleza|url=http://eju.tv/2016/04/la-dictadura-venezolana-reafirma-naturaleza/|website=Eju.tv|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref> and public figures.<ref>{{cite web|title=Expresidentes denuncian ruptura del orden constitucional y democrático en Venezuela|url=http://www.venezuelaaldia.com/2016/05/expresidentes-denuncian-ruptura-del-orden-constitucional-y-democratico-en-venezuela/|website=Venezuela al día|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Almagro insiste en aplicar Carta Democrática contra Venezuela|url=http://www.telesurtv.net/news/Almagro-insiste-en-aplicar-Carta-Democratica-contra-Venezuela-20160513-0045.html|website=TeleSur|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Opositores denuncian "ruptura del orden constitucional" en Venezuela|url=http://www.elpais.cr/2016/05/10/opositores-denuncian-ruptura-del-orden-constitucional-en-venezuela/|website=El País|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Venezuela es una dictadura que no representa la división de poderes|url=http://www.elsalvador.com/articulo/internacional/venezuela-una-dictadura-que-respeta-division-poderes-110967|website=El Salvador|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20160530153407/http://www.elsalvador.com/articulo/internacional/venezuela-una-dictadura-que-respeta-division-poderes-110967|archivedate=30 May 2016|df=dmy-all}}</ref>
On 14 May 2016, the [[Organization of American States]] were considering the application of the [[Inter-American Democratic Charter]]<ref>{{cite web|title=Jefe de la OEA estudia invocar Carta Democrática por Venezuela|url=http://www.laprensa.com.ni/2016/04/28/internacionales/2026877-jefe-de-la-oea-estudia-invocar-carta-democratica-por-venezuela|website=La Prensa|accessdate=15 May 2016|language=Spanish}}</ref> sanctions for non-compliance to its own constitution.
In March 2017, the Venezuelan Supreme Court took over law making powers from the National Assembly<ref>{{Cite news|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-39449494|title=Venezuela 'coup': Alarm grows as court takes power|date=2017-03-31|work=BBC News|access-date=2017-03-31|language=en-GB}}</ref> but reversed its decision the following day.<ref>{{Cite news|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-39468045|title=Venezuela: Supreme court backtracks on powers bid|date=2017-04-01|work=BBC News|access-date=2017-04-01|language=en-GB}}</ref>
=== Foreign relations ===
{{Main article|Foreign relations of Venezuela}}
[[File:XIV cumbre del ALBA-TCP.jpg|thumb|right|President Maduro among other Latin American leaders participating in a 2017 [[ALBA]] gathering]]
[[File:Guayana_Esequiba_(zona_completa).png|thumb|The [[Guayana Esequiba|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 between Venezuela and the United States government worsened in 2002, after the 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.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/09/us-usa-venezuela-idUSKBN0M51NS20150309|title=U.S. declares Venezuela a national security threat, sanctions top officials|work=Reuters|accessdate=26 April 2015|date=9 March 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2377482&CategoryId=10717|title=Latin American Herald Tribune – US Announces New Executive Order Sanctions on Venezuela – Declares "National Emergency"|publisher=|accessdate=26 April 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article13087994.html|title=Amid deteriorating relations, Washington turns screws on Venezuela|work=miamiherald|accessdate=26 April 2015}}</ref> 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".<ref>{{cite web | title = Investing Today In An Equitable Future | url = http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-2639-Investing-today-in-an-equitable-future | website = [[morningstaronline.co.uk]] | date = 28 May 2015 | accessdate = 29 May 2015 }}</ref>
Venezuela seeks alternative [[Western Hemisphere|hemispheric]] integration via such proposals as the [[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 [[International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia|Abkhazia and South Ossetia]]. Venezuela was a proponent of OAS's decision to adopt its Anti-Corruption Convention<ref>{{cite book|title=Political Risk Yearbook: South America|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ascdAQAAMAAJ&q=%22championed%20the%20OAS%20decision%22|year=1999|publisher=Frost & Sullivan|page=34|quote=Venezuela worked closely with its neighbors following the 1997 Summit of the Americas in many areas—particularly energy integration—and championed the OAS decision to adopt an Anti-Corruption Convention.}}</ref> and is actively working in the [[Mercosur]] trade bloc to push increased trade and energy integration. Globally, it seeks a "[[polarity in international relations|multi-polar]]" world based on strengthened ties among undeveloped countries.
On April 26, 2017, Venezuela announced its intention to withdraw from the OAS.<ref>{{Cite news|url=http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39726605|title=Venezuela to withdraw from OAS as deadly protests continue|date=2017-04-27|work=BBC News|access-date=2017-04-27|language=en-GB}}</ref> Venezuelan [[Foreign Minister of Venezuela|Foreign Minister]] [[Delcy Rodríguez]] said that President [[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.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuela-protesters-hit-by-tear-gas-vow-to-keep-pressure-on-government/2017/04/26/c6fbdcaa-29ee-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html|title=Venezuela says it will quit Organization of American States|website=Washington Post|access-date=2017-04-27}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.rt.com/news/386280-venezuela-oas-protests-clashes/|title=Venezuela to leave ‘interventionist’ OAS group amid deadly anti-govt protests|publisher=}}</ref>
Venezuela is involved in a long-standing disagreement about the control of the [[Guayana Esequiba]] area.
=== Military ===
{{See also|National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela}}
[[File:Venezuelan Air Force Sukhoi SU-30MK2 AADPR-2.jpg|thumbnail|A [[Sukhoi Su-30|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 Militia]].
{{As of|2008}}, a further 600,000 soldiers were incorporated into a new branch, known as the Armed Reserve. The President of Venezuela is the [[commander-in-chief]] of the national armed forces. The main roles of the armed forces are to defend the sovereign national territory of Venezuela, airspace, and islands, fight against drug trafficking, to search and rescue and, in the case of a natural disaster, civil protection. All male citizens of Venezuela have a constitutional duty to register for the military service at the age of 18, which is the [[age of majority]] in Venezuela.
=== Law and crime ===
{{Main article|Law of Venezuela|Crime in Venezuela}}
{{Multiple image|direction=vertical|width=350|align=right|image1=1998 to 2013 Venezuela Murder Rate.png|image2=Number of kidnappings in Venezuela 1989 to present (Presidents).png|caption1=Murder rate (murder per 100,000 citizens) from 1998 to 2015.
<br />'''Sources:''' OVV,<ref>{{cite web|title=Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia |url=http://observatoriodeviolencia.org.ve/ws/ |website=Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia |accessdate=16 December 2014 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20141216122638/http://observatoriodeviolencia.org.ve/ws/ |archivedate=16 December 2014 }}</ref><ref name="FUSIONmr">{{cite news|last1=Rueda|first1=Manuel|title=How Did Venezuela Become So Violent?n|url=http://fusion.net/story/4593/how-did-venezuela-become-so-violent/|accessdate=16 December 2014|agency=Fusion TV|date=8 January 2014}}</ref> PROVEA,<ref name="UNODC2011">{{cite web|title=GLOBAL STUDY ON HOMICIDE 2011|url=http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/Homicide/Globa_study_on_homicide_2011_web.pdf|website=UNODC|accessdate=16 December 2014}}</ref><ref name="UNODC2014">{{cite web|title=GLOBAL STUDY ON HOMICIDE 2014|url=http://www.unodc.org/documents/gsh/pdfs/2014_GLOBAL_HOMICIDE_BOOK_web.pdf|website=UNODC|accessdate=16 December 2014}}</ref> UN<ref name="UNODC2011" /><ref name="UNODC2014" /><ref name="AFP2012">{{cite news|title=Global homicide rates drop, but nearly 500,000 murdered in 2012|url=https://news.yahoo.com/global-homicide-rates-drop-nearly-500-000-murdered-143539493.html|accessdate=16 December 2014|agency=[[Agence France-Presse]]|date=10 December 2014}}</ref><br /> '''*''' UN line between 2007 and 2012 is simulated missing data.|caption2=Number of kidnappings in Venezuela 1989–2011.<br />'''Source:''' '''[[Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas, Penales y Criminalísticas|CICPC]]'''<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.oas.org/dsp/documentos/Publicaciones/Seg%20Publica-%20Venezuela%20y%20Bolivia.pdf |format=PDF |title=SeguridadPúblicayPrivada VenezuelayBolivia|publisher=Oas.org |accessdate=30 March 2015}}</ref><ref name="CICPC2009">{{cite web|url=http://issuu.com/lexys/docs/fact_sheet_paz_activa/1 |title=Venezuela: Gravísima Crisis de Seguridad Pública by Lexys Rendon |publisher=ISSUU.com |date= |accessdate=30 March 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.eluniversal.com/sucesos/120104/segun-el-cicpc-el-2011-cerro-con-1150-secuestros-en-todo-el-pais |title=Según el Cicpc el 2011 cerró con 1.150 secuestros en todo el país – Sucesos |publisher=Eluniversal.com |date= |accessdate=30 March 2015}}</ref><br />'''*''' [[Express kidnapping]]s may not be included in data}}
Venezuela was the most murderous place on Earth in 2015.<ref name="BBCVenezuela">{{cite news|last1=Davies|first1=Wyre|title=Venezuela's decline fuelled by plunging oil prices|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35622188|accessdate=20 February 2016|publisher=BBC News, Latin America|date=20 February 2016}}</ref> In Venezuela, a person is murdered every 21 minutes.<ref>{{cite news|last=Castillo|first=Mariano|title=Beauty queen's killers nabbed, Venezuela says|url=http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/09/world/americas/monica-spear-venezuela-beauty-queen-killed/|accessdate=10 January 2014|newspaper=CNN|date=9 January 2014}}</ref> Violent crimes have been so prevalent in Venezuela that the government no longer produces the crime data.<ref>{{cite news|last=Gallegos|first=Raul|title=Miss Venezuela's Murder Is the Price of Politics|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-10/miss-venezuela-s-murder-is-the-price-of-politics.html|accessdate=10 January 2014|newspaper=Bloomberg L.P.|date=10 January 2014}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite web|last=Rueda|first=Manuel|title=How Did Venezuela Become So Violent?|url=http://fusion.net/leadership/story/venezuela-violent-iraq-365361|publisher=Fusion|accessdate=10 January 2014}}</ref> By 2015, it had risen to 90 per 100,000.<ref name="BBCVenezuela"/> 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]].<ref>{{cite news|last=Romero|first=Simon|title=Venezuela, More Deadly Than Iraq, Wonders Why|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/world/americas/23venez.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0|accessdate=10 January 2014|newspaper=New York Times|date=22 August 2010}}</ref> The capital Caracas has one of the greatest homicide rates of any large city in the world, with 122 homicides per 100,000 residents.<ref>{{cite web|title=Venezuela Country Specific Information |url=https://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1059.html |publisher=United States Department of State |accessdate=10 January 2014 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140111012601/http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1059.html |archivedate=11 January 2014 }}</ref> In 2008, polls indicated that crime was the number one concern of voters.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://uk.reuters.com/article/2008/11/14/idUKN14277528 |title=Crime threatens Chavez vote in Venezuela slums &#124; Reuters |publisher=Uk.reuters.com |date=14 November 2008 |accessdate=25 April 2010}}</ref> Attempts at fighting crime such as Operation Liberation of the People were implemented to crack down on gang-controlled areas<ref>{{cite news| url=http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/07/13/14-killed-in-caracas-anti-crime-operation | work=Fox News | title=14 Killed in Caracas anti-crime operation | date=13 July 2015}}</ref> but, of reported criminal acts, less than 2% are prosecuted.<ref name="Finnegan">{{Cite web|url=http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/14/venezuela-a-failing-state|title=Venezuela, A Failing State|last=Finnegan|first=William|date=2016-11-14|website=The New Yorker|publisher=|access-date=2017-01-07}}</ref> 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.<ref name=":0" />
Venezuela is especially dangerous toward foreign travelers and investors who are visiting. The [[United States State Department]] and the [[Government of Canada]] have warned foreign visitors that they may be subjected to robbery, kidnapping for a ransom or sale to terrorist organizations<ref>{{cite web|url=https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/venezuela.html|title=Venezuela|publisher=United States Department of State|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> and murder, and that their own diplomatic travelers are required to travel in [[armored vehicles]].<ref>{{cite web|title=Venezuela Travel Warning|url=https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/venezuela-travel-warning.html|publisher=United States Department of State|accessdate=9 February 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Venezuela|url=http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/venezuela|publisher=Government of Canada|accessdate=9 February 2014}}</ref> The United Kingdom's [[Foreign and Commonwealth Office]] has advised against all travel to Venezuela.<ref>{{cite news|title=FCO travel advice mapped: the world according to Britain's diplomats|url=https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/23/fco-travel-advice-map|newspaper=The Guardian}}</ref>  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 later.<ref>{{cite news|title=Venezuelan Soap Star Monica Spear Slain with Ex-Husband|url=http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/venezuelan-soap-star-monica-spear-slain-ex-husband-n5231|date=8 January 2014|newspaper=NBC News|accessdate=7 February 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=German tourist, 76, shot dead on Venezuelan island|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/07/us-venezuela-shooting-tourist-idUSBREA1621020140207|accessdate=9 February 2014|newspaper=Reuters|date=7 February 2014|first=Andrew|last=Cawthorne}}</ref>
There are approximately 33 prisons holding about 50,000 inmates.<ref>{{cite news|url=http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/20/world/americas/venezuela-prison-violence/index.html |title=20 killed in Venezuelan prison violence |publisher=CNN.com |date= |accessdate=25 November 2012}}</ref> 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 prisoners.<ref>{{cite news|last=Silverstein|first=Amy|title=Venezuela prison riot kills 20|url=http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/venezuela/120820/venezuela-prison-riot-kills-20|accessdate=21 August 2012|newspaper=[[Global Post]]|date=20 August 2012}}</ref>
==== Corruption ====
{{Main article|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,<ref>McBeth 2002, p. 17. "From 1917, "greater awareness of the country's oil potential had the pernicious effect of increasing the corruption and intrigue amongst Gomez's family and entourage, the consequences of which would be felt up to 1935."</ref> 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.<ref>Coronil 1988, p. 353. "The perception of petroleum as the cause of Venezuela's corruption had become widespread during this period."</ref> Venezuela has been ranked one of the most corrupt countries on the [[Corruption Perceptions Index]] since the survey started in 1995. The 2010 ranking placed Venezuela at number 164, out of 178 ranked countries.<ref>[http://english.eluniversal.com/2011/01/21/en_ing_esp_the-truth-of-pdval_21A5015053.shtml The truth of Pdval] {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130514111928/http://english.eluniversal.com/2011/01/21/en_ing_esp_the-truth-of-pdval_21A5015053.shtml |date=14 May 2013 }}, ''[[El Universal (Caracas)|El Universal]]'', 21 January 2011.</ref> By 2016, the rank had increased to 166 out of 178.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.transparency.org/country/VEN#|title=Transparency International - Venezuela|first=Transparency International|last=e.V.|website=www.transparency.org}}</ref> Similarly, the [[World Justice Project]] ranked Venezuela 99th out of 99 countries surveyed in its 2014 Rule of Law Index.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://data.worldjusticeproject.org/#/index/VEN|title=WJP Rule of Law Index™ 2014|publisher=|accessdate=26 April 2015}}</ref>
This corruption is shown with Venezuela's significant involvement in [[Illegal drug trade in Venezuela|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]].<ref>United Nations, [http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/WDR2010/AllSeizures.pdf World Drug Report 2010 Statistical Annex: Drug seizures]</ref> In 2006, the government's agency for combating the Illegal drug trade in Venezuela, ''[[National Anti-Drug Office|ONA]]'', was incorporated into the office of the vice-president of the country. However, many major government and military officials have been known for their involvement with drug trafficking; especially with the October 2013 incident of men from the Venezuelan National Guard placing 1.3 tons of [[cocaine]] on a Paris flight knowing they will not face charges.<ref>{{cite news|title=Venezuela: Where The Mafia And The Military Come Together|url=http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/opinion/2014/02/07/venezuela-where-mafia-and-military-come-together/|accessdate=9 February 2014|newspaper=Fox News|date=7 February 2014}}</ref>
== States and regions of Venezuela ==
{{Political subdivisions of Venezuela}}
{{Main article|States of Venezuela|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 [[municipality|municipalities]] (''municipios''); these are subdivided into over one thousand [[parish]]es (''parroquias''). The states are grouped into nine administrative regions (''regiones administrativas''), which were established in 1969 by presidential decree.
The country can be further divided into ten geographical areas, some corresponding to climatic and biogeographical regions. In the north are the [[Venezuelan Andes]] and the [[Coro region]], a mountainous tract in the northwest, holds several [[Mountain range|sierras]] and valleys. East of it are lowlands abutting Lake Maracaibo and the Gulf of Venezuela.
The [[Cordillera de la Costa Central|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 (state)|Sucre]] and northern [[Monagas]]. The [[Insular Region (Venezuela)|Insular Region]] includes all of Venezuela's island possessions: [[Nueva Esparta]] and the various [[Federal Dependencies]]. The Orinoco Delta, which forms a triangle covering [[Delta Amacuro]], projects northeast into the Atlantic Ocean.
<!-- For {{Political subdivisions of Venezuela}} -->
=== Largest cities ===
{{Largest cities of Venezuela}}
=== Largest metropolitan areas ===
{{Main article|List of metropolitan areas in Venezuela}}
== Economy ==
{{Main article|Economy of Venezuela}}
[[File:Venezuela Export Treemap.png|thumb|Graphical depiction of Venezuela's product exports in 28 color-coded categories.]]
The [[Central Bank of Venezuela]] is responsible for developing [[monetary policy]] for the [[Venezuelan bolívar]] which is used as currency. The President of the Central Bank of Venezuela serves as the country's representative in the [[International Monetary Fund]].  The U.S.-based conservative think tank [[The Heritage Foundation]], cited in ''[[The Wall Street Journal]]'', claims Venezuela has the weakest property rights in the world, scoring only 5.0 on a scale of 100; expropriation without compensation is not uncommon. Venezuela has a [[mixed economy]] dominated by the petroleum sector,<ref>[http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/important-facts-related-to-the-economy-of-venezuela.html The Economy Of Venezuela]. World Atlas.</ref> which accounts for roughly a third of GDP, around 80% of exports, and more than half of government revenues. Per capita GDP for 2016 was estimated to be US$15,100, ranking 109th in the world.<ref name="CIA" /> Venezuela has the [[Gasoline usage and pricing|least expensive petrol]] in the world because the consumer price of petrol is heavily subsidized.
[[File:Viento naranja.jpg|thumb|left|[[Los Llanos (South America)|Los Llanos]] is a region deeply rooted in the culture of the [[Llanero]] and its cattle.]]
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.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/10960388-venezuela-gold-returns-to-the-country-the-euphoria-in-the-streets |title=Venezuela: Gold Returns to the Country, The Euphoria in the Streets |date=26 November 2011 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20131021010511/http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/10960388-venezuela-gold-returns-to-the-country-the-euphoria-in-the-streets |archivedate=21 October 2013 }}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite news |url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-09/venezuela-ogles-chavez-s-hidden-billions-as-reserves-sink.html |title=Venezuela Ogles Chavez's Hidden Billions as Reserves Sink |last1=Pons |first1=Corina |last2=Corina |first2=Nathan |date=9 August 2013 |website=www.bloomberg.com |publisher=BLOOMBERG L.P. |accessdate=19 October 2013}}</ref>
Manufacturing contributed 17% of GDP in 2006. Venezuela manufactures 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 [[beverage]]s, and [[foodstuff]]s. [[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.<ref>Pearson, Tamara (9 January 2013). [http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7598 Venezuelan Government Meets with Private Industries to Combat Food Shortages]. ''Venezuelanalysis.com.''</ref>
[[File:Plaza_Venezuela_Sunset.jpg|thumb|250px|[[Plaza Venezuela]] in [[Caracas]].]]
[[File:Petare Slums in Caracas.jpg|thumb|Slums (barrios) are a phenomenon in the main cities of Venezuela.]]
Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has 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 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{{sfn|McCaughan|2005|p=32}} as (by 1998) per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak.{{sfn|Kelly|Palma|2006|p=207}} The 1990s also saw Venezuela experience a [[Venezuelan banking crisis of 1994|major banking crisis in 1994]].
{{Image frame|align=left|width=350|caption=Annual variation of real GDP according to the Central Bank of Venezuela (2016 preliminary)<ref name="BCV2016">{{cite web|url=http://www.bcv.org.ve/Upload/Comunicados/aviso180216.pdf|title=Resultados del Índice Nacional de Precios Al Consumidor, Producto Interno Bruto y Balanza de Pagos Cuarto Trimestre De 2015|date=18 February 2016|language=es|publisher=BCV|accessdate=19 March 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/venezuela-economy-idUSL1N1FA1JL|title=UPDATE 1-Venezuela 2016 inflation hits 800 pct, GDP contracts nearly 19 pct|author=Corina Pons|date=20 January 2017|accessdate=14 May 2017|publisher=REUTERS}}</ref>|content={{Graph:Chart|width=300|height=230|xAxisTitle=|yAxisTitle=|type=rect|x=2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015, 2016 |y= 5.3 , −3.2 , −1.5 , 4.2 , 5.6 , 1.3 , −3.9 , −5.7, −18.6|showValues=offset:3,fontcolor:black}}}}The recovery of oil prices after 2001 boosted the Venezuelan economy and facilitated social spending. With social programs such as the [[Bolivarian Missions]], Venezuela initially made progress in social development in the 2000s, particularly in areas such as health, education, and poverty. Many of the social policies pursued by Chávez and his administration were jump-started by the [[Millennium Development Goals]], eight goals that Venezuela and 188 other nations agreed to in September 2000.<ref>[https://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/11_MDG%20Report_EN.pdf "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2011."] {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20130309160853/http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/11_MDG%20Report_EN.pdf |date=9 March 2013 }} United Nations. 2011. Web. 2 April 2012.</ref> 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.<ref name="ELPAISfeb2015" /><ref name="FPmarch2013" /><ref name="CSM25march">{{cite news|last1=Gallagher|first1=J. J.|title=Venezuela: Does an increase in poverty signal threat to government?|url=http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2015/0325/Venezuela-Does-an-increase-in-poverty-signal-threat-to-government|accessdate=29 March 2015|agency=[[The Christian Science Monitor]]|date=25 March 2015}}</ref><ref name="FPdontblame">{{cite news|last1=Corrales|first1=Javier|title=Don’t Blame It On the Oil|url=https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/05/07/dont-blame-it-on-the-oil-venezuela-caracas-maduro/|accessdate=10 May 2015|agency=''[[Foreign Policy]]''|date=7 May 2015}}</ref> 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 [[Financial crisis of 2007–2010|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,<ref name="ECONeatCHAVISMO" /><ref>{{cite web|title = UN Congratulates Venezuela on Hunger|url = http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/News/congratulates-venezuela-reducing-hunger-widespread-food-shortages/story?id=19421963|website = ABC News|date = 18 June 2013|accessdate = 18 July 2015}}</ref> shortages of staple goods began to occur in Venezuela and malnutrition began to increase.<ref name="ECONeatCHAVISMO" /> In early 2013, Venezuela devalued its currency due to growing shortages in the country.<ref>{{cite web|title = Venezuelan Government Meets with Private Industries to Combat Food Shortages {{!}} venezuelanalysis.com|url = http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/7598|website = venezuelanalysis.com|accessdate =6 May 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|last=Cawthorne|first=Andrew|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/24/us-venezuela-economy-idUSKCN0ID00A20141024|title=Venezuela seizes warehouses packed with medical goods, food|publisher=''Reuters''|date=24 October 2014|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=Venezuela Slashes Currency Value|url=https://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323951904578292383059267360|accessdate=14 December 2013|newspaper=Wall Street Journal|date=9 February 2013|first1=Ezequiel|last1=Minaya|first2=Kejal|last2=Vyas}}</ref>  The shortages included, and still include, necessities such as toilet paper, milk, and flour.<ref>{{cite news|last=Lopez|first=Virginia|title=Venezuela food shortages: 'No one can explain why a rich country has no food'|url=https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/sep/26/venezuela-food-shortages-rich-country-cia|accessdate=14 December 2013|newspaper=The Guardian|date=26 September 2013}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite web|title = Venezuela to nationalize food distribution|url = https://news.yahoo.com/venezuela-nationalize-food-distribution-191734377.html|accessdate = 6 May 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|title=Facing shortages, Venezuela takes over toilet paper factory|url=http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/21/world/americas/venezuela-toilet-paper/|accessdate=14 December 2013|newspaper=CNN|date=21 September 2013}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite news|title=UPDATE 2-S&P cuts Venezuela debt rating to B-minus|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/17/venezuela-downgrade-standardandpoors-idUSL2N0ET0Z120130617|accessdate=14 December 2013|newspaper=Reuters|date=14 December 2013|first=Daniel|last=Bases}}</ref> In 2016, consumer prices in Venezuela increased 800% and the economy declined by 18.6%.<ref>{{cite web|title=enezuela 2016 inflation hits 800 percent, GDP shrinks 19 percent|url=https://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/20/venezuela-2016-inflation-hits-800-percent-gdp-shrinks-19-percent-document.html|accessdate=May 7, 2017}}</ref>  Venezuela's outlook was deemed negative by most bond-rating services in 2017.<ref>{{Cite news|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-14/venezuela-s-bondholder-meeting-is-a-bust-as-s-p-declares-default|title=Venezuela’s Bondholder Meeting Is a Bust as S&P Declares Default|last=Bartenstein|first=Ben|date=2017-11-14|work=Bloomberg|access-date=2017-11-15|last2=et al}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Rating: Venezuela Credit Rating|url=http://countryeconomy.com/ratings/venezuela|accessdate=14 December 2013}}</ref>
{{Main article|Tourism in Venezuela}}
[[File:El_Faro_beach.JPG|thumb|300px|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 the year.
[[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 ===
{{Main article|Shortages in Venezuela}}
[[File:Escasez en Venezuela, Central Madeirense 8.JPG|thumb|Empty shelves in a store in Venezuela due to shortages.]]
[[Shortages]] in Venezuela have been prevalent following the enactment of price controls and other policies during the [[economic policy of the Hugo Chávez government]].<ref name="economist.com">{{cite news |url=https://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/02/venezuela%E2%80%99s-currency |accessdate=18 February 2013 |title=Venezuela's currency: The not-so-strong bolívar |work=[[The Economist]] |date=11 February 2013}}</ref><ref name="qz.com">{{cite news |title=Venezuela's black market rate for US dollars just jumped by almost 40% |url=http://qz.com/192395/venezuelas-black-market-rate-for-us-dollars-just-jumped-by-almost-40/#/h/56869,3/ |accessdate=27 March 2014 |newspaper=Quartz |date=26 March 2014}}</ref> 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.<ref name="WSJseptDOWNGRADE">{{cite news |last1=Dulaney |first1=Chelsey |last2=Vyas |first2=Kejal |title=S&P Downgrades Venezuela on Worsening Economy Rising Inflation, Economic Pressures Prompt Rating Cut |url=https://online.wsj.com/articles/s-p-downgrades-venezuela-on-worsening-economy-1410907125 |accessdate=18 September 2014 |agency=The Wall Street Journal |date=16 September 2014}}</ref>
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.<ref name="economist.com" /><ref name="ACN">{{cite web|title=La escasez también frena tratamientos contra cáncer |language=Spanish |location=Venezuela |url=http://acn.com.ve/la-escasez-tambien-frena-tratamientos-contra-cancer/ |accessdate=25 August 2014 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140826135417/http://acn.com.ve/la-escasez-tambien-frena-tratamientos-contra-cancer/ |archivedate=26 August 2014 }}</ref><ref name="El Nuevo Herald">{{cite news|title=Venezuela sufre escasez de prótesis mamarias |language=Spanish |publisher=[[El Nuevo Herald]] |url=http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2014/03/19/1705888/venezuela-sufre-escasez-de-protesis.html |accessdate=25 August 2014 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20140826113732/http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2014/03/19/1705888/venezuela-sufre-escasez-de-protesis.html |archivedate=26 August 2014 }}</ref> As a result of the shortages, Venezuelans must search for food, wait in lines for hours and sometimes settle without having certain products.<ref>{{cite news |title=Why are Venezuelans posting pictures of empty shelves? |url=http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-30710014 |accessdate=10 January 2015 |agency=BBC |date=8 January 2015}}</ref><ref name="REUTjan2015">{{cite news |last1=Cawthorne |first1=Andrew |title=In shortages-hit Venezuela, lining up becomes a profession |url=https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/21/us-venezuela-shortages-idUSKBN0KU1BX20150121|accessdate=17 June 2015 |agency=[[Reuters]] |date=21 January 2015}}</ref> [[Government of Venezuela|Maduro's government]] has blamed the shortages on "bourgeois criminals" hoarding goods.<ref>{{cite web|url=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-economy-idUSKCN0ID00A20141024|title=Venezuela seizes warehouses packed with medical goods, food|date=24 October 2016|publisher=|via=Reuters}}</ref>
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<ref>[http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/22/475250605/venezuela-announces-daily-4-hour-power-cuts-amid-drought Venezuela Announces Daily 4-Hour Power Cuts Amid Drought : The Two-Way]. NPR (22 April 2016). Retrieved on 2016-06-15.</ref> and reduced the government [[workweek]] to only Monday and Tuesday.<ref>[http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/04/27/475859770/venezuela-cuts-public-employees-work-week-to-2-days-to-save-energy Venezuela Cuts Public Employees' Workweek To 2 Days To Save Energy : The Two-Way]. NPR (27 April 2016). Retrieved on 2016-06-15.</ref> 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&nbsp;kg (19&nbsp;lbs) due to the lack of food.<ref name="UPIfeb17">{{cite news|last1=Pestano|first1=Andrew V.|title=Venezuela: 75% of population lost 19 pounds amid crisis|url=http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/02/19/Venezuela-75-of-population-lost-19-pounds-amid-crisis/2441487523377/|accessdate=21 February 2017|work=[[UPI]]|date=19 February 2017|language=en}}</ref>
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.<ref>{{cite news|title=Why are Venezuelans posting pictures of empty shelves?|url=http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-30710014|accessdate=10 January 2015|agency=BBC|date=8 January 2015}}</ref><ref name=REUTjan2015/><ref name="FOXgarbage">{{cite news|last1=MacDonald|first1=Elizabeth|title=Exclusive: Harrowing Video Shows Starving Venezuelans Eating Garbage, Looting|url=http://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/2016/05/26/exclusive-harrowing-video-shows-starving-venezuelans-eating-garbage-looting.html|accessdate=12 July 2016|agency=[[Fox Business]]|date=26 May 2016}}</ref><ref name="APgarbage">{{cite news|last1=Sanchez|first1=Fabiola|title=As hunger mounts, Venezuelans turn to trash for food|url=http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5ee6b03daee141c3b89d419ecadcc7fa/venezuelans-pick-through-trash-food-eat-or-sell|accessdate=12 July 2016|agency=[[Associated Press]]|date=8 June 2016}}</ref><ref name="CBCfruit">{{cite news|title=Mangoes fill the gaps in Venezuela's food crisis|url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/mangoes-fill-the-gaps-in-venezuela-s-food-crisis-1.3620964|accessdate=12 July 2016|agency=[[Canadian Broadcasting Corporation]]|date=7 June 2016}}</ref> By early 2017, priests began telling Venezuelans to label their garbage so needy individuals could feed on their refuse.<ref name="FPmar2017">{{cite news|last1=Gramer|first1=Robbie|title=Dire Measures to Combat Hunger in Venezuela|url=https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/03/dire-measures-to-combat-hunger-in-venezuela-economic-crisis-political-maduro-food-shortages-priest-label-trash/|accessdate=4 March 2017|work=[[Foreign Policy]]|date=3 March 2017}}</ref> 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.<ref name="EImar17">{{cite news |last1=Suarez |first1=Roberth|title=FOTOS: Escasez de gasolina se agudiza en Barquisimeto|url=http://www.elimpulso.com/noticias/regionales/fotos-escasez-gasolina-se-agudiza-barquisimeto|accessdate=23 March 2017|work=[[El Impulso (Venezuela)|El Impulso]]|date=22 March 2017 |language=es-es}}</ref>
=== Petroleum and other resources ===
[[File:Refinería de Amuay VE.jpg|thumb|230px|[[Paraguaná Refinery Complex]] in [[Falcón]].]]
{{See also|History of the Venezuelan oil industry|Energy policy of Venezuela}}
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.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://eia.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=VE |title=Venezuela Energy Profile |accessdate=2010-12-15 |deadurl=bot: unknown |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20101215105626/http://eia.gov/country/country_energy_data.cfm?fips=VE |archivedate=15 December 2010 |df=dmy-all }}, [[Energy Information Administration]]. Last Update: 30 June 2010.</ref> Compared to the preceding year another 40.4% in crude oil reserves were proven in 2010, allowing Venezuela to surpass Saudi Arabia as the country with the largest reserves of this type.<ref>[http://www.marketwatch.com/story/venezuela-oil-reserves-topped-saudis-in-2010opec-2011-07-18 Venezuela oil reserves topped Saudis in 2010:OPEC]. Market Watch. 18 July 2011</ref> The country's main petroleum deposits are located around and beneath Lake Maracaibo, the Gulf of Venezuela (both in [[Zulia State|Zulia]]), and in the Orinoco River basin ([[Orinoco#Eastern Venezuelan Basin|eastern Venezuela]]), where the country's largest reserve is located. Besides the largest conventional oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas reserves in the Western Hemisphere,<ref name="bbc">{{cite news | publisher= BBC  |url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4692534.stm | title = Venezuela: Energy overview | date = 16 February 2006 | accessdate=10 July 2007}}</ref> Venezuela has non-conventional oil deposits ([[Heavy crude oil|extra-heavy crude oil]], [[bitumen]] and [[tar sands]]) approximately equal to the world's reserves of conventional oil.<ref name="wec">{{cite web | publisher= World Energy Council |url= http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/publications/default/tech_papers/17th_congress/3_1_04.asp |archiveurl= https://web.archive.org/web/20070402100135/http://www.worldenergy.org/wec-geis/publications/default/tech_papers/17th_congress/3_1_04.asp |archivedate= 2 April 2007 | author = Bauquis, Pierre-René | title =  What the future for extra heavy oil and bitumen: the Orinoco case  | date =  16 February 2006|accessdate=10 July 2007}}</ref> The [[electricity sector in Venezuela]] is one of the few to rely primarily on [[hydropower]], and includes the Guri Dam, one of the largest in the world.
In the first half of the 20th century, US oil companies were heavily involved in Venezuela, initially interested only in purchasing concessions.{{sfn|Yergin|1991|pages=233–236, 432}} 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.{{sfn|Yergin|1991|pages=510–513}}
In 1973, Venezuela voted to nationalize its oil industry outright, effective 1 January 1976, with [[Petróleos de Venezuela]] (PDVSA) taking over and presiding over a number of holding companies; in subsequent years, Venezuela built a vast refining and marketing system in the U.S. and Europe.{{sfn|Yergin|1991|p=767}} 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.{{sfn|McCaughan|2005|p=128}}<ref>{{cite journal|url=http://www.scielo.org.ve/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1012-25082004000200006&lng=es&nrm=iso |title=Venezuela 2001–2004: actores y estrategias|author= López Maya, Margarita |journal= Cuadernos del Cendes |year=2004|volume=21 |issue=56|pages=109–132|issn=1012-2508}}</ref>
=== Transport ===
{{Main article|Transport in Venezuela}}
[[File:Vista_Estacion_de_metro_plaza_venezuela.jpg|thumbnail|[[Caracas Metro]] in Plaza Venezuela]]
Venezuela is connected to the world primarily via air ([[List of airports in Venezuela|Venezuela's airports]] include the [[Simón Bolívar International Airport (Venezuela)|Simón Bolívar International Airport]] in Maiquetía, near Caracas and [[La Chinita International Airport]] near [[Maracaibo]]) and sea (with major sea ports at La Guaira, Maracaibo and [[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 {{convert|2213|km}} shared with Colombia. The [[Orinoco]] River is navigable by oceangoing vessels up to {{convert|400|km}} inland, and connects the major industrial city of Ciudad Guayana to the Atlantic Ocean.
Venezuela has a limited [[Instituto de Ferrocarriles del Estado|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{{clarify|date=April 2017}} and owing [[China Railway]] nearly $500 million.<ref>{{cite news|last=Han Shih|first=Toh|title=China Railway Group's project in Venezuela hits snag|url=http://www.scmp.com/business/china-business/article/1211846/china-railway-groups-project-venezuela-hits-snag|accessdate=14 December 2013|newspaper=South China Morning Post|date=11 April 2013}}</ref>
Several major cities have metro systems; the Caracas Metro has been operating since 1983. The [[Maracaibo Metro]] and [[Valencia Metro (Venezuela)|Valencia Metro]] were opened more recently.
Venezuela has a road network of nearly {{convert|100000|km}} in length, placing the country [[List of countries by road network size|around 45th in the world]];<ref>[https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2085rank.html?countryName=Venezuela&countryCode=ve&reagionCode=soa&rank=45#ve Country Comparison :: Roadways]. The World Factbook. cia.gov</ref> around a third of roads are paved.
== Demographics ==
{{Historical populations
|source = United Nations
|percentages = pagr
|footnote = <ref name="IEApop2011">[http://www.iea.org/co2highlights/co2Highlights.XLS CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion] Population 1971–2008 IEA  ([http://iea.org/co2highlights/co2highlights.pdf pdf]) pp. 83–85</ref><ref name="WPP 2010">[http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision]. Esa.un.org (6 December 2012). Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref>
|1950 |5094000
|1960 |7562000
|1970 |10681000
|1980 |15036000
|1990 |19685000
|2000 |24348000
|2011 |28400000
|2016 |31028337
{{Main article|Demographics of Venezuela}}
{{Further information|List of metropolitan areas in Venezuela}}
[[File:Venezuela population density 2011.png|thumb|left|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;<ref name="encartaSA" /><ref name="UNpopstats" /> 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 {{convert|100|km|mi|0}} from the coastline.<ref name="WRI_2003b">{{cite web|publisher=World Resources Institute |work=EarthTrends Country Profiles |year=2003 |title=Coastal and Marine Ecosystems—Venezuela |url=http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/coa_cou_862.pdf |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20070318000929/http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/country_profiles/coa_cou_862.pdf |archivedate=18 March 2007 |format=PDF|accessdate=10 March 2007}}</ref> 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 Venezuela following the Bolivarian Revolution.<ref name="ENHaug28">{{cite news|last1=Maria Delgado|first1=Antonio|title=Venezuela agobiada por la fuga masiva de cerebros|url=http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2014/08/26/1828337/venezuela-agobiada-por-fuga-masiva.html|accessdate=28 August 2014|agency=El Nuevo Herald|date=28 August 2014}}</ref><ref name="Elimpulso23AUG">{{cite news|title=El 90% de los venezolanos que se van tienen formación universitaria|url=http://elimpulso.com/articulo/el-90-de-los-venezolanos-que-se-van-tienen-formacion-universitaria#|accessdate=28 August 2014|agency=El Impulso|date=23 August 2014}}</ref> Though almost half of Venezuela's land area lies south of the Orinoco, only 5% of Venezuelans live there. The largest and most important city south of the Orinoco is [[Ciudad Guayana]], which is the sixth most populous [[conurbation]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.ine.gob.ve/demografica/salidadistribucion.asp?Tt=Cuadro229&cuadro=cuadro229 |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110929230946/http://www.ine.gob.ve/demografica/salidadistribucion.asp?Tt=Cuadro229&cuadro=cuadro229 |archivedate=29 September 2011 |title=Cuadro Magnitud y Estructura Demográfica |publisher=Ine.gob.ve |accessdate=25 April 2010}}</ref> Other major cities include [[Barquisimeto]], [[Valencia, Carabobo|Valencia]], [[Maracay]], Maracaibo, [[Barcelona-Puerto La Cruz]], [[Mérida, Mérida|Mérida]] and [[San Cristóbal, Táchira|San Cristóbal]].
=== Ethnic groups ===
{{Main article|Venezuelan people|Mestizo Venezuelan|White Venezuelan|Afro-Venezuelan|Italo-Venezuelan|Portuguese Venezuelan|German Venezuelan|Arab Venezuelan|Chinese Venezuelan}}
{{bar box
|title=Racial and Ethnic Composition (2011 Census)<ref name="Census-ethnics" />
|title bar=#ddd
{{bar percent|[[Mestizos in Venezuela|Mestizo]]|violet|51.6}}
{{bar percent|[[Venezuelan of European descent|White]]|blue|43.6}}
{{bar percent|[[Afro-Venezuelan|Black]]|Brown|2.9}}
{{bar percent|Afro-descendant|Black|0.7}}
{{bar percent|[[Venezuelan people|Other races]]|red|1.2}}
The people of Venezuela come from a variety of ancestries. It is estimated that the majority of the population is of [[Mestizos in Venezuela|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.<ref name="Census-ethnics" /> Practically half of the population claimed to be ''[[:wikt:moreno|moreno]]'', a term used throughout Ibero-America that in this case means "dark-skinned" or "brown-skinned", as opposed to having a [[light skin|lighter skin]] (this term connotes [[Human skin colour|skin color or tone]], rather than [[facial feature]]s or descent).
[[File:Iglesia San Martin de Tours II.jpg|thumb|left|In the [[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 races".<ref name="Census-ethnics" /><ref name="Census-ethnics" />
Among indigenous people, 58% were [[Wayúu]], 7% [[Warao people|Warao]], 5% [[Kariña]], 4% [[Pemon|Pemón]], 3% [[Piaroa]], 3% [[Jivi]], 3% [[Añu]], 3% [[Cumanágoto]], 2% [[Yukpa]], 2% [[Chaima]] and 1% [[Yanomami]]; the remaining 9% consisted of other indigenous nations.<ref>{{cite news|author=Benítez, Deivis |title=Poblaciones Indígenas en aumento según censo poblacional 2011 |url=http://www.minpi.gob.ve/minpi/es/noticias/1548-np1428 |accessdate=10 October 2012 |agency=PRENSA MINPPPI |language=Spanish |quote=''Los resultados arrojados por el censo poblacional realizado por el Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas en el 2011 demuestra que las poblaciones indígenas ha aumentado progresivamente con respecto al censo del año 2001.''<br /> Según los datos estadísticos publicados por el INE, el total de población que se declaró indígena por sexo, arrojó un resultado de 50,46% hombre y 49,54% mujeres representando 365.920 hombres y 359.208 mujeres para un total de 725.148 personas que se declararon indígenas de Venezuela.<br /> Así mismo, se tomó el porcentaje de población por entidad donde el estado Zulia es la entidad con más indígenas con un 61%, seguido del estado Amazonas con 10%, Bolívar con un 8%, Delta Amacuro con 6%, Anzoátegui 5%, Sucre 3%, Apure y Monagas 2% mientras que en otras entidades existe un 3% de población indígena.<br /> Entre tanto, los pueblos indígenas con mayor población se encuentran los Wayuu 58%, Warao 7%, Kariña 5%, Pemón 4%, Piaroa, Jivi, Añu, Cumanágoto 3%, Yukpa, Chaima 2%, el pueblo Yanomami 1% y otros pueblos con un 9%. |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20130116234901/http://www.minpi.gob.ve/minpi/es/noticias/1548-np1428 |archivedate=16 January 2013 }}</ref>
[[File:24 June 2014 Venezuelan protest.jpg|thumb|[[Venezuelans]] in a protest in Caracas.]]
According to an autosomal DNA genetic study conducted in 2008 by the [[University of Brasília]] (UNB), the composition of Venezuela's population is 60.60% of European contribution, 23% of indigenous contribution, and 16.30% of African contribution.<ref>{{cite web|last=Godinho|first=Neide Maria de Oliveira|title=O impacto das migrações na constituição genética de populações latino-americanas|url=http://bdtd.bce.unb.br/tedesimplificado/tde_busca/arquivo.php?codArquivo=3873|publisher=Universidade de Brasília|accessdate=1 August 2012|year=2008|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110706162307/http://bdtd.bce.unb.br/tedesimplificado/tde_arquivos/36/TDE-2008-08-21T100337Z-3085/Publico/2008_NeideMOGodinho.pdf|archivedate=6 July 2011|df=dmy-all}}</ref>
During the colonial period and until after the Second World War, many of the European immigrants to Venezuela came from the [[Canary Islands]],<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/m/jml34/Canary.htm|title=The Spanish of the Canary Islands|work=personal.psu.edu}}</ref> which had a significant cultural impact on the cuisine and customs of Venezuela.<ref>{{cite web|last=Erichsen|first=Gerald|url=http://spanish.about.com/od/Country-Highlights/tp/Facts-About-Venezuela-for-Spanish-Students.htm|title=Facts About Venezuela for Spanish Students|publisher=''About''|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.grancanariainfo.co.uk/culture.asp|title=Gran Canaria Culture|publisher=''GranCanariaInfo''|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://sazonlatinorestaurant.com/history|title=History|publisher=''Sazon Latino Restaurant''|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> These influences on Venezuela have led to the nation being called the 8th island of the Canaries.<ref>{{cite news|last=Calder|first=Simon|url=https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/africa/secret-canaries-explore-these-warm-volcanic-islands-all-year-round-9831652.html|title=Secret Canaries: Explore these warm volcanic islands all year round|publisher=''The Independent''|date=31 October 2014|accessdate=30 June 2015|location=London}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|last1=Ross|first1=Ben|last2=Calder|first2=Simon|url=https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/tale-of-two-travellers-the-two-sides-of-the-canaries-1834321.html|title=Tale of Two Travellers: The two sides of the Canaries|publisher=''The Independent''|date=5 December 2009|accessdate=30 June 2015|location=London}}</ref> 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 to Venezuela|immigration programs]] and lenient immigration policies.<ref name="Romero2010">{{cite news|last=Romero|first=Simon|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/world/americas/07venez.html?_r=0|title=In Venezuela, a New Wave of Foreigners|publisher=''The New York Times''|date=7 November 2010|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> During the 20th century, Venezuela, along with the rest of Latin America, received millions of immigrants from Europe.<ref name="Levinson1994">{{cite web|last=Levinson|first=David|url=http://www.everyculture.com/South-America/Europeans-in-South-America.html|title=Europeans in South America|publisher=''Every Culture''|date=1994|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref><ref name="PadillaPeixoto2007">{{cite web|last1=Padilla|first1=Beatriz|last2=Peixoto|first2=Joāo|url=http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/latin-american-immigration-southern-europe|title=Latin American Immigration to Southern Europe|publisher=''Migration Policy''|date=28 June 2007|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> This was especially true post-World War II, as a consequence of war-ridden Europe.<ref name="Levinson1994" /><ref name="PadillaPeixoto2007" /><ref name="Brooke1992">{{cite news|last=Brooke|first=James|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1992/02/17/world/latin-america-offers-new-world-to-east-europe-emigrants.html|title=Latin America Offers 'New World' to East Europe Emigrants|publisher=''The New York Times''|date=17 February 1992|accessdate=30 June 2015}}</ref> During the 1970s, while experiencing an oil-export boom, Venezuela received millions of immigrants from Ecuador, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.<ref name="Brooke1992" /> Due to the belief that this immigration influx depressed wages, some Venezuelans opposed European immigration.<ref name="Brooke1992" /> The Venezuelan government, however, were actively recruiting immigrants from Eastern Europe to fill a need for engineers.<ref name="Levinson1994" /> Millions of Colombians, as well as Middle Eastern and Haitian populations would continue immigrating to Venezuela into the early 21st century.<ref name="Romero2010" />
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.<ref name="World Refugee Survey 2008">{{cite news|title=World Refugee Survey 2008|publisher=U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|date=19 June 2008|url=http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=2114&subm=179&area=Investigate|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20090429171446/http://www.refugees.org/article.aspx?id=2114&subm=179&area=Investigate|archivedate=29 April 2009}}</ref> Between 500,000 and one million [[illegal immigrant]]s are estimated to be living in the country.<ref>[http://countrystudies.us/venezuela/12.htm Venezuela – Population]. U.S. Library of Congress.</ref>
The total indigenous population of the country is estimated at about 500 thousand people (2.8% of the total), distributed among 40 indigenous peoples.<ref>[http://www.ine.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=95&Itemid=9# > Censos de población y vivienda]. INE (23 February 2012). Retrieved on 16 April 2012.</ref> 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 people|Wayuu (west)]], the Warao (east), the Yanomami (south), and the Pemon (southeast).
<gallery mode=packed heights=150px>
|Map of proportion in percentage of the [[Mestizo Venezuelan|mestizo]] population in Venezuela. Data from the 2011 Census.
|Map of proportion in percentage of the [[white Venezuelan|white]] population in Venezuela. Data from the 2011 Census.
|Map of proportion in percentage of the [[Black Venezuelan|black]] population in Venezuela. Data from the 2011 Census.
|Map of proportion in percentage of the indigenous peoples population in Venezuela. Data from the 2011 Census.
=== Languages ===
{{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 language|Wayuu]] is the most spoken indigenous language with 170,000 speakers.<ref name="Ethnologue">{{cite web|title=Venezuela|url=https://www.ethnologue.com/country/VE|website=Ethnologue|accessdate=23 January 2017}}</ref>
Immigrants, in addition to Spanish, speak their own languages. [[Chinese language|Chinese]] (400,000), [[Portuguese language|Portuguese]] (254,000)<ref name="Ethnologue" /> and [[Italian language|Italian]] (200,000),<ref>{{cite journal|last1=Bernasconi|first1=Giulia|title=L’ITALIANO IN VENEZUELA|journal=Italiano LinguaDue|date=2012|issue=2|page=20|doi=10.13130/2037-3597/1921|url=https://www.openaire.eu/search/publication?articleId=doajarticles::e2c6e2d8ae5915079007d321c21defb0|accessdate=22 January 2017|publisher=Università degli Studi di Milano|language=Italian|quote=L'italiano come lingua acquisita o riacquisita è largamente diffuso in Venezuela: recenti studi stimano circa 200.000 studenti di italiano nel Paese}}</ref> 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.{{citation needed|date=February 2018}} The German community speaks their native language, while the people of [[Colonia Tovar]] people speaks mostly an [[Alemannic German|Alemannic]] dialect of German called ''[[coloniero]]''.
[[English language|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 Municipality|El Callao]], for the English-speaking native influence evident in folk songs and calypso Venezuelan and French with English voices. [[Italian language|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 language|Basque]] and [[Galician language|Galician]], among others.
=== Religion ===
{{Main article|Religion in Venezuela}}
{{Pie chart
|thumb = right
|caption = Religion in Venezuela according to the 2011 census.<ref name="grumilla">{{cite news|last1=Aguire|first1=Jesus Maria|language=Spanish|title=Informe Sociográfico sobre la religión en Venezuela|url=http://www.gumilla.org/biblioteca/bases/biblo/texto/SIC2012745_211-222.pdf|accessdate=5 April 2015|publisher=El Centro Gumilla|date=June 2012}}</ref>
|label1 = [[Roman Catholicism|Catholic]]
|value1 = 71
|color1 = Blue
|label2 = [[Protestantism|Protestant]]
|value2 = 17
|color2 = DodgerBlue
|label3 = [[Agnostic]]/[[Atheist]]
|value3 = 8
|color3 = LightGray
|label4 = Other religion
|value4 = 3
|color4 = yellow
|label5 = No answer
|value5 = 1
|color5 = white
According to a 2011 poll (GIS XXI), 88 percent of the population is Christian, primarily [[Roman Catholic]] (71%), and the remaining 17 percent [[Protestant]], primarily [[Evangelicals]] (in Latin America Protestants are usually called Evangelicos). The Venezuelans without religion are 8% ([[atheist]] 2% and [[agnostic]] or indifferent 6%), almost 3% of the population follow other religion (1% of them are of [[santeria]]).<ref name="grumilla"/>
There are small but influential [[Islam|Muslim]], [[Buddhist]], and [[Judaism|Jewish]] communities. The Muslim community of more than 100,000 is concentrated among persons of [[Lebanese people|Lebanese]] and [[Syrian people|Syrian]] descent living in Nueva Esparta State, [[Punto Fijo]] and the Caracas area. Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people. The Buddhist community is made up mainly of [[Chinese people|Chinese]], [[Japanese people|Japanese]], and [[Koreans]]. There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.
The Jewish community has shrunk in recent years due to rising [[antisemitism in Venezuela]],<ref name=Hurricane>{{cite journal|author=[[Thor Halvorssen Mendoza]]|url=http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/903jhsjt.asp?pg=1|title=Hurricane Hugo|journal=[[The Weekly Standard]]|date=August 8, 2005|volume=10|number=44|accessdate=November 20, 2010}}</ref><ref name=SRI>[http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2004/venezuela.htm Annual Report 2004: Venezuela.] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20061023195546/http://www.tau.ac.il/Anti-Semitism/asw2004/venezuela.htm |date=2006-10-23 }}  [[Stephen Roth Institute]]. Accessed August 11, 2006.</ref><ref>Berrios, Jerry. [http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=11060 S. Fla. Venezuelans: Chavez incites anti-Semitism.] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20080306053937/http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=11060 |date=2008-03-06 }} ''Miami Herald'', August 10, 2006.</ref><ref>[http://www.adl.org/PresRele/ASInt_13/4925_13.htm Report: Anti-Semitism on Rise in Venezuela; Chavez Government 'Fosters Hate' Toward Jews and Israel.] Press release, [[Anti-Defamation League]], November 6, 2006. Accessed April 3, 2008.</ref><ref>[http://www.adl.org/main_International_Affairs/venezuela_anti_semitism_report.htm The Chavez Regime: Fostering Anti-Semitism and Supporting Radical Islam.] [[Anti-Defamation League]], November 6, 2006. Accessed April 3, 2008.</ref> with the population declining from 22,000 in 1999<ref name=TOERaid>{{cite news|last1=Rueda|first1=Jorge|title=Jewish leaders condemn police raid on community center in Venezuela|url=http://legacy.utsandiego.com/news/world/20071204-1410-venezuela-raid.html|accessdate=8 April 2015|agency=''[[U-T San Diego]]''|date=4 December 2007}}</ref> to less than 7,000 in 2015.<ref name=AJjan2015>{{cite news|title=ADL Denounces Anti-Semitic Graffiti Sprayed on Synagogue in Venezuela|url=http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/02/adl-denounces-anti-semitic-graffiti-sprayed-on-synagogue-in-venezuela/|accessdate=4 January 2015|agency=[[Algemeiner Journal]]|date=2 January 2015}}</ref>
== Culture ==
{{Main article|Culture of Venezuela|Music of Venezuela|Sport in Venezuela|Immigration to Venezuela}}
[[File:Joropo foto.jpg|thumb|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 gastronomy. 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 example, from United States comes the influence of taste for baseball, US-style fast food, and current architectural constructions.
=== Art ===
[[File:La Joven Madre 1889 by Arturo Michelena.jpg|thumb|right|upright|''Young Mother'' by Venezuela-born [[Arturo Michelena]], 1889]]
{{Main article|Art of Venezuela}}
[[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.{{sfn|Ng|2004|p=31}}{{sfn|Aponte|2008|p=45}} This move was led by Martín Tovar y Tovar.{{sfn|Aponte|2008|p=45}}{{sfn|Tarver|Frederick|2006|p=10}} [[Modernism]] took over in the 20th century.{{sfn|Tarver|Frederick|2006|p=10}} Notable [[Venezuelan Artists|Venezuelan artists]] include Arturo Michelena, [[Cristóbal Rojas (artist)|Cristóbal Rojas]], [[Armando Reverón]], [[Manuel Cabré]]; the [[kinetic art]]ists [[Jesús-Rafael Soto|Jesús Soto]], [[Gego]] and [[Carlos Cruz-Díez]];{{sfn|Tarver|Frederick|2006|p=10}} and contemporary artists as [[Marisol Escobar|Marisol]] and [[Yucef Merhi]].{{sfn|Fichner-Ratus|2012|p=519}}<ref>{{cite web|last=Silvera|first=Yohana|url=http://www.talcualdigital.com/Nota/41697/Poesia-En-Objetos|title=Poesía en objetos|publisher=''TalCualDigital''|date=10 June 2010|accessdate=24 July 2015|language=Spanish}}</ref>
=== Literature ===
{{Main article|Venezuelan literature}}
[[Venezuelan literature]] originated soon after the Spanish conquest of the mostly pre-literate indigenous societies.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.latintrails.com/venezuela-info|title=Information|publisher=''Latin Trails''|accessdate=1 July 2015|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20150702042820/http://www.latintrails.com/venezuela-info|archivedate=2 July 2015|df=dmy-all}}</ref> It was originally dominated by [[Spanish culture|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 [[narrative]] writing, Venezuelan literature was advanced by poets such as [[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 [[Positivism]].
=== Music ===
{{Main article|Music of Venezuela}}
[[File:Arpa, cuatro, maracas, bajo y animador..jpg|thumb|[[Joropo]], also called Música Llanera, is a music genre representative to [[Los Llanos (South America)|Los Llanos]] and [[Llanero]] culture.]]
Indigenous [[Music of Venezuela|musical styles of Venezuela]] are exemplified by the groups ''[[Un Sólo Pueblo]]'' and ''[[Serenata Guayanesa]]''. The national musical instrument is the [[cuatro (instrument)|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 Zuliana|gaita]]'' is also a very popular style, generally performed during Christmas. The national dance is the ''[[joropo]]''.{{sfn|Cortés|2013|p=2134}} Venezuela has always been a melting pot of cultures and this can be seen in the richness and variety of its musical styles and dances: [[Calypso music|calipso]], [[bambuco]], [[fulía]], cantos de pilado de maíz, cantos de lavanderas, [[sebucán]], and [[maremare]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.turpialtravel.com/countries/key-facts-venezuela.html|title=Key Facts Venezuela|publisher=''Turpial Travel & Adventure''|accessdate=13 July 2015}}</ref> [[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 [[The Proms|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.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.eluniversal.com/arte-y-entretenimiento/141208/rock-and-mau-sonara-bajo-las-nubes-de-calder|title=Rock and MAU sonará bajo las nubes de Calder|publisher=''El Universal''|date=8 December 2014|accessdate=13 July 2015|language=Spanish}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|last=Fernández B.|first=María Gabriela|url=http://www.eluniversal.com/arte-y-entretenimiento/150314/el-jazz-es-el-lenguaje-universal-de-la-musica-popular|title=El jazz es el lenguaje universal de la música popular|publisher=''El Universal''|date=14 March 2015|accessdate=13 July 2015}}</ref>  Some groups in this tradition are Tambor Urbano,<ref>{{cite book|last1=Olsen|first1=Dale|last2=Sheehy|first2=Daniel|title=The Garland Handbook of Latin American Music|date=2007|publisher=Routledge|isbn=9781135900083|page=32}}</ref> Los Sinverguenzas, the C4Trio, and Orozco Jam.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Christie|first1=Jan Fairley ; edited by Simon Frith, Stan Rijven, Ian|title=Living politics, making music : the writings of Jan Fairley|date=2014|isbn=9781472412669|page=113}}</ref>
Afro-Venezuelan musical traditions are most intimately related to the festivals of the "black folk saints" San Juan and [[Benedict the Moor|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.
=== Sport ===
{{Main article|Sport in Venezuela}}
{{See also|Baseball in Venezuela}}
[[File:Venezuela national baseball team on November 7, 2015.jpg|thumb|left|250px|[[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.{{sfn|Nichols|Morse|2010|p=306}} In the early 20th century, North American immigrants who came to Venezuela to work in the nation's oil industry helped to popularize the sport in Venezuela.{{sfn|Wardrope|2003|p=37}} During the 1930s, baseball's popularity continued to rise in the country, leading to the foundation of the [[Venezuelan Professional Baseball League]] (LVBP) in 1945, and the sport would soon become the nation's most popular.{{sfn|Jozsa Jr.|2013|p=12}}{{sfn|Gibson|2006|p=18}}
The immense popularity of baseball in the country makes Venezuela a rarity among its South American neighbors—[[association football]] is the dominant sport in the continent.{{sfn|Wardrope|2003|p=37}}{{sfn|Gibson|2006|p=18}}{{sfn|Nichols|Morse|2010|p=307}} However, football, as well as [[basketball]], are among the more popular sports played in Venezuela.{{sfn|Aalgaard|2004|p=54}} Venezuela hosted the [[2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men|2012 Basketball World Olympic Qualifying Tournament]] and the [[FIBA Americas Championship|2013 FIBA Basketball Americas Championship]], which took place in [[Poliedro de Caracas]].
[[File:Venezuela-guinea cropped.jpg|thumb|[[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]] is gaining popularity as well. The sport is also noted for having an increased focus during the World Cup.{{sfn|Aalgaard|2004|p=54}} According to the [[CONMEBOL]] alphabetical rotation policy established in 2011, Venezuela is scheduled to host the [[Copa América]] every 40 years.<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.conmebol.com/articulos_ver.jsp?id=61730&slangab=E|title=Copa America: a new cycle begins and the revolving calendar remains|publisher=''CONMEBOL''|date=21 December 2007|accessdate=30 June 2015|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20081205191359/http://www.conmebol.com/articulos_ver.jsp?id=61730&slangab=E|archivedate=5 December 2008}}</ref>
Venezuela is also home to former [[Formula 1]] driver, [[Pastor Maldonado]].<ref name="Strickland2015">{{cite web|last=Strickland|first=Jamie|url=https://www.bbc.com/sport/0/formula1/32275593|title=Pastor Maldonado: Does 'Crashtor' deserve his bad reputation?|publisher=''BBC''|date=12 April 2015|accessdate=6 July 2015}}</ref> 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.<ref name="Strickland2015" /> Maldonado has increased the reception of Formula 1 in Venezuela, helping to popularize the sport in the nation.<ref>{{cite web|last=Montiel|first=Santiago|url=http://spartannewsroom.com/changeup/article/blog/formula-1-needs-more-attention-united-states|title=Formula 1 needs more attention in the United States|publisher=''Spartan Newsroon''|accessdate=6 July 2015|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20150706181313/http://spartannewsroom.com/changeup/article/blog/formula-1-needs-more-attention-united-states|archivedate=6 July 2015|df=dmy-all}}</ref>
In the [[2012 Summer Olympics]], Venezuelan [[Rubén Limardo]] won a gold medal in [[Fencing at the 2012 Summer Olympics|fencing]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/fencing/fencer-ruben-limardo-returns-to-heros-welcome-in-venezuela.html|title=Fencer Ruben Limardo returns to hero's welcome in Venezuela|publisher=''NBC Olympics''|date=7 August 2012|accessdate=30 June 2015|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20120807221821/http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/fencing/fencer-ruben-limardo-returns-to-heros-welcome-in-venezuela.html|archivedate=7 August 2012}}</ref>
=== Cuisine ===
{{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.
=== Architecture ===
[[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]].
== Education ==
[[File:Biblioteca de la Universidad Central de Venezuela.jpg|thumb|[[Central University of Venezuela]]]]
{{Main article|Education in Venezuela}}
[[File:Illiteracy in Venezuela.svg|thumb|left|Illiteracy rate in Venezuela based on data from UNESCO<ref name="unesco1988">{{cite web|url=http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000815/081521mb.pdf|title=Compendium of statistics on illiteracy|year=1988|author=UNESCO|access-date=10 June 2017}}</ref><ref name="unesco-uis">{{cite web|url=http://data.uis.unesco.org|title=UIS.Stat|publisher=UNESCO INSTITUTE FOR STATISTICS|access-date=10 June 2017}}</ref> and the Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) of Venezuela.<ref name="ortega">{{cite journal |last1=Daniel |first1=Ortega |last2=Rodríguez |first2=Francisco |date=October 2008 |title=Freed from Illiteracy? A Closer Look at Venezuela’s Misión Robinson Literacy Campaign |trans-title= |url= |language=en |journal=Economic Development and Cultural Change |volume= 57|issue=1 |pages=1–30 |doi=10.1086/590461 }}</ref>]]
The literacy rate for the adult population was already 91.1 by 1998.<ref>[http://www.umsl.edu/services/govdocs/wofact99/306.htm Venezuela]. Umsl.edu. Retrieved on 20 April 2013.</ref>
In 2008, 95.2% of the adult population was literate.<ref name="hdrstats.undp.org" /> Net [[primary school]] enrollment rate was at 91% in 2005.<ref name="hdrstats.undp.org">{{cite web |url=http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/data_sheets/cty_ds_VEN.html |title=Human Development Report 2009 – Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) |publisher=Hdrstats.undp.org |accessdate=25 April 2010 |deadurl=yes |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20100218153602/http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/data_sheets/cty_ds_VEN.html |archivedate=18 February 2010 |df=dmy-all }}</ref> Net secondary enrollment rate was at 63% in 2005.<ref name="hdrstats.undp.org" /> Venezuela has a number of universities, of which the most prestigious are the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), founded in [[Caracas]] in 1721, the [[University of Zulia]] (LUZ) founded in 1891, the [[University of the Andes (Venezuela)|University of the Andes]] (ULA), founded in Mérida State in 1810, the [[Simón Bolívar University]] (USB), founded in Miranda State in 1967 and the [[Universidad de Oriente|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 graduate]]s had left the country since the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution.<ref name="ENHaug28" /><ref name="Elimpulso23AUG" /> It is believed nearly 12% of Venezuelans live abroad with Ireland becoming a popular destination for students.<ref>{{cite news|last=Goodman|first=Joshua|title=Venezuela's Best and Brightest Camp on Sidewalks|url=http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/venezuelas-best-brightest-camp-sidewalks-22308016|accessdate=9 February 2014|newspaper=ABC News|date=31 January 2014}}</ref> 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.<ref>{{cite journal|title=Capacity building: Architects of South American science|url=http://www.nature.com/polopoly_fs/1.15377!/menu/main/topColumns/topLeftColumn/pdf/510209a.pdf|journal=Nature|date=12 June 2014|volume=510|page=212|doi=10.1038/510209a|accessdate=9 July 2014}}</ref>
== Health ==
{{Image frame|width=340|caption=Cases of malaria in Venezuela according to the Ministry of Popular Power for Health.<ref name="boletinepid07-16">{{cite web|url=http://www.mpps.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=941|title=Boletín Epidemiológico: Semana Epidemiológica|date=2007–2016|language=es|accessdate=14 May 2017|author=|work=|publisher=Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Salud|deadurl=yes|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20161126222856/http://www.mpps.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=941|archivedate=26 November 2016|df=dmy-all}}</ref>|content=
{{Graph:Chart|width=270|height=200|type=line|x=2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
|y=31719, 35828, 45155, 45824, 51264, 76966, 89365, 136402, 240613}}}}
{{Main article|Health care in Venezuela|Mission Barrio Adentro}}
Venezuela has a national [[universal health care]] system. The current government has created a program to expand access to health care known as [[Mission Barrio Adentro|Misión Barrio Adentro]],<ref name="Venezuela Information Office">{{cite web |publisher=Venezuela Information Office |year=2007 |title=Health Care for All: Venezuela's Health Missions at Work |url=http://www.rethinkvenezuela.com/downloads/Healthcare%20for%20All.htm |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20080614053914/http://www.rethinkvenezuela.com/downloads/Healthcare%20for%20All.htm |archivedate=14 June 2008 |accessdate=18 January 2008}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/1114|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20090512013213/http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/1114|archivedate=12 May 2009|title=Barrio adentro a look at the origins of a social mission|last=Castro|first=Arachu|publisher=David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University|year=2008|accessdate=29 January 2009}}</ref> although its efficiency and work conditions have been criticized.<ref name="MBAeu">{{cite news|title=Cabildo Metropolitano evaluará funcionamiento de Barrio Adentro|url=http://www.eluniversal.com/caracas/140506/cabildo-metropolitano-evaluara-funcionamiento-de-barrio-adentro|accessdate=7 May 2014|newspaper=El Universal|date=6 May 2014}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.noticias24.com/actualidad/noticia/144581/siete-medicos-cubanos-demandan-a-cuba-y-venezuela-por-esclavitud-moderna/|title=Siete médicos cubanos demandan a Cuba y Venezuela por "esclavitud moderna"|publisher=|accessdate=26 April 2015}}</ref><ref name="ABCnov2014">{{cite news|last1=Vinogradoff|first1=Ludmila|title=16 November 2014|url=http://www.abc.es/internacional/20141112/abci-medicos-cubanos-desertores-en-masa-venezuela-201411111936.html|accessdate=16 November 2014|agency=ABC (Spanish)|date=13 November 2014}}</ref> It has reported that many of the clinics were closed and as of December 2014, it was estimated that 80% of Barrio Adentro establishments were abandoned in Venezuela.<ref>Matheus, Ricardo. [http://www.2001.com.ve/registro_noticias.asp?registro=81599&sw=1 Abandonados 70% de módulos de BA] {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070927004706/http://www.2001.com.ve/registro_noticias.asp?registro=81599&sw=1 |date=27 September 2007 }} ''[[Diario 2001]]'' (29 July 2007).</ref><ref name="LPdec2014">{{cite news|title=El 80% de los módulos de Barrio Adentro del país está cerrado|url=http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2014/12/08/el-80-de-los-modulos-de-barrio-adentro-del-pais-esta-cerrado/|accessdate=8 December 2014|agency=La Patilla|date=8 December 2014}}</ref>
{{Image frame|align=left|width=340|caption=Deaths of children under one year in Venezuela according to the Ministry of Popular Power for Health.<ref name="boletinepid07-16"/>|content=
{{Graph:Chart|width=275|height=150|type=line|x=2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
|y=4747, 5085, 5175, 5945, 5878, 7009, 8273, 7904, 8812, 11466}}}}[[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).<ref name="The World Factbook">{{cite web|title=The World Factbook|url=https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ve.html|publisher=Central Intelligence Agency|accessdate=9 February 2014}}</ref> Child [[malnutrition]] (defined as stunting or wasting in children under age five) was 17%; Delta Amacuro and Amazonas had the nation's highest rates.<ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/nutrition/ven-e.stm |title=Venezuela |accessdate=2006-09-21 |deadurl=bot: unknown |archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20070318223523/http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/nutrition/ven-e.stm |archivedate=18 March 2007 |df=dmy-all }}. FAO.org.</ref> According to the [[United Nations]], 32% of Venezuelans lacked adequate sanitation, primarily those living in rural areas.<ref>[http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/venezuela_statistics.html Venezuela]. Unicef.org.</ref> Diseases ranging from [[diphtheria]], [[Plague (disease)|plague]], [[malaria]],<ref name="Finnegan"/> [[typhoid]], [[yellow fever]], [[cholera]], [[hepatitis A]], [[hepatitis B]], and [[hepatitis D]] were present in the country.<ref name="guardian1">[https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2006/oct/25/venezuela.essentialinfo Venezuela] Guardian. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 20 September 2006.</ref> [[Obesity]] was prevalent in approximately 30% of the adult population in Venezuela.<ref name="The World Factbook" />
Venezuela had a total of 150 [[Water supply and sanitation in Venezuela|plants for sewage treatment]]. However, 13% of the population lacked access to drinking water, but this number had been dropping.{{sfn|Chávez Frías|2004}}
During the economic crisis observed under President Maduro's presidency, medical professionals were forced to perform outdated treatments on patients.<ref>{{cite news|last1=Dreier|first1=Hannah|title=Mastectomies on the rise in Venezuela amid economic crisis|url=http://bigstory.ap.org/article/9b2d9fe90c114e7b9b9a93854e81532f/mastectomies-rise-venezuela-amid-economic-crisis|accessdate=24 March 2015|agency=[[Associated Press]]|date=24 March 2015}}</ref>
== See also ==
{{Portal|Venezuela|Latin America}}
{{Wikipedia books|Venezuela}}
* [[Index of Venezuela-related articles]]
* [[Outline of Venezuela]]
<!-- * [[List of places in Venezuela]] -->
== References ==
== Notes ==
== Bibliography ==
*{{cite journal|ref={{SfnRef|Cannon|2004}}|last=Cannon|first=Barry|title=Venezuela, April 2002: Coup or Popular Rebellion? The Myth of a United Venezuela|date=21 June 2004|journal=[[Bulletin of Latin American Research]]|publisher=[[Wiley-Blackwell]]|volume=23|issue=3|pages=285–302|doi=10.1111/j.0261-3050.2004.00109.x|url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0261-3050.2004.00109.x/abstract}}
*{{cite book|last=Aalgaard|first=Wendy|title=Venezuela in Pictures|year=2004|publisher=Lerner Pub Group|isbn=0-8225-1172-X|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=jSlsKvev-QkC}}
*{{cite book|last=Aponte|first=Pedro Rafael|title=The Invention of the National in Venezuelan Art Music, 1920–1960|year=2008|publisher=University of Pittsburgh|isbn=978-1-109-05320-3|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Gk8N_C1Gk48C|accessdate=2 July 2015}}
*{{cite book|last=Chasteen|first=John Charles|title=Born in Blood and Fire: A Concise History of Latin America|year=2001|publisher=Norton|isbn=978-0-393-05048-6|url=https://books.google.com/?id=fC90B5xkYyIC}}
*{{cite book|last=Chávez Frías|first=Hugo Rafael|authorlink=Hugo Chávez|title=Cumpliendo las metas del milenio|year=2004|publisher=CDBpublicaciones|isbn=980-6456-12-2|url=http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/misc-view/sharedfiles/Metas_Milenio.pdf|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110511182837/http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/misc-view/sharedfiles/Metas_Milenio.pdf|archivedate=11 May 2011|language=Spanish}}
*{{cite book|last=Coronil|first=Fernando|authorlink=Fernando Coronil|title=The magical state: nature, money, and modernity in Venezuela|year=1988|publisher=University of Chicago Press|isbn=0-226-11602-6|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ecTWdRNSJCcC}}
*{{cite book|last=Cortés|first=Carlos E.|title=Multicultural America: A Multimedia Encyclopedia|year=2013|publisher=SAGE Publications|isbn=978-1-4522-1683-6|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=VQ1zAwAAQBAJ|accessdate=30 June 2015}}
*{{cite book|last=Crow|first=JA|title=Epic of Latin America|year=1980|publisher=University of California Press|isbn=0-520-04107-0}}
*{{cite book|last=Dickey|first=John Marcus|title=Christopher Columbus and his monument Columbia : being a concordance of choice tributes to the great Genoese, his grand discovery, and his greatness of mind and purpose|year=1892|publisher=Rand, McNally & Co.|isbn=1-4460-2044-4|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=MnUcAAAAMAAJ|accessdate=1 July 2015}}
*{{cite book|last1=Dydynski|first1=Krzysztof|last2=Beech|first2=Charlotte|title=Venezuela|year=2004|publisher=Lonely Planet Publications|isbn=1-74104-197-X}}
*{{cite book|last=Ewell|first=Judith|title=Venezuela: A Century of Change|year=1984|publisher=C. Hurst & Co|isbn=0-905838-36-X}}
*{{cite book|last=Fichner-Ratus|first=Lois|title=Understanding Art|year=2012|edition=10th|publisher=Cengage Learning|isbn=978-1-111-83695-5|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=oVAKAAAAQBAJ}}
*{{cite book|title=Georgia Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and Developments|year=2013|publisher=Int'l Business Publications, USA|isbn=1-4387-7443-5|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=hQWWBQAAQBAJ}}
*{{cite book|last=Gibson|first=Karen Bush|title=Venezuela: A Question and Answer Book|year=2006|isbn=978-0-7368-6413-8|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=WKl7nfQPb3wC}}
*{{cite book|last=Gott|first=Richard|title=Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution|year=2005|publisher=Verso|isbn=1-84467-533-5|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ft6AyMxG4JEC}}
*{{cite book|last=Gregory|first=Desmond|title=Brute New World: The Rediscovery of Latin America in the Early 19th Century|year=1992|publisher=British American Press|isbn=1-85043-567-7|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=V2hBAHD9BOUC|accessdate=30 June 2015}}
*{{cite book|last=Heritage|first=Andrew|title=Financial Times World Desk Reference|date=December 2002|publisher=[[Dorling Kindersley]]|isbn=978-0-7894-8805-3}}
*{{cite book|last=Josza Jr.|first=Frank P.|title=Baseball beyond Borders: From Distant Lands to the Major Leagues|year=2013|publisher=Scarecrow Press|isbn=978-0-8108-9245-3|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=wULyAAAAQBAJ}}
*{{cite book|last1=Kelly|first1=Janet|last2=Palma|first2=Perdo A.|editor-last1=McCoy |editor-first1=Jennifer L.|editor-last2=Myers|editor-first2=David J. |title=The Unraveling of Representative Democracy in Venezuela|year=2006|publisher=[[Johns Hopkins University Press]]|chapter=Chapter 10: The Syndrome of Economic Decline and the Quest for Change |isbn=0-8018-8428-4|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=rtJVhJZF6WgC}}
*{{cite book|last=Kipfer|first=Barbara Ann|title=Encyclopedic Dictionary of YUPArchaeology|year=2000|publisher=Springer|isbn=0-306-46158-7}}
*{{cite book|last=López Maya|first=Margarita|editor-last=Goumbri|editor-first=Olivia Burlingame|title=The Venezuela Reader: The Building of a People's Democracy|year=2005|publisher=Epica Task Force|location=Washington, D.C.|chapter=Venezuela 2002–2003: Polarisation, Confrontation, and Violence|isbn=0-918346-35-5}}
*{{cite book|last=Massabié|first=Germán|title=Venezuela: A Petro-State Using Renewable Energies|year=2008|publisher=Springer|isbn=3-531-15994-1}}
*{{cite book|last=McBeth|first=B. S.|title=Juan Vicente Gómez and the Oil Companies in Venezuela, 1908–1935|year=2002|publisher=[[Cambridge University Press]]|isbn=0-521-89218-X|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ZU71u8ZKvnEC}}
*{{cite book|last=McCaughan|first=Michael|title=The Battle of Venezuela|year=2005|publisher=Seven Stories Press|isbn=978-1-60980-116-8|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=VdYHt8EBsJUC}}
*{{cite book|last=Ng|first=Yumi|title=Welcome to Venezuela|year=2004|publisher=Gareth Stevens Publishing|isbn=978-0-8368-3123-8|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ux9DpmGirKMC|accessdate=2 July 2015}}
*{{cite book|last1=Nichols|first1=Elizabeth Gackstetter|last2=Morse|first2=Kimberley J.|title=Venezuela|year=2010|publisher=ABC-CLIO|isbn=978-1-59884-569-3|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Cq-5QRDNVDEC}}
*{{cite book|last=Salas|first=Miguel Tinker|title=Venezuela: What Everyone Needs to KnowRG|year=2015|publisher=Oxford University Press|isbn=0-19-978328-4|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=FTFmBgAAQBAJ}}
*{{cite book|last=Stoan|first=Stephen K.|title=Pablo Morillo and Venezuela, 1815–1820|year=1974|publisher=Ohio State University Press|isbn=0-8142-0219-5|url=https://archive.org/details/pablomorilloand00stoagoog}}
*{{cite book|last1=Tarver|first1=H. Michael|last2=Frederick|first2=Julia C.|title=The History of Venezuela|year=2006|publisher=[[Palgrave Macmillan]]|isbn=978-1-4039-6260-7|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=krJxx5adqHoC|accessdate=2 July 2015}}
*{{cite book|last=Thomas|first=Hugh|title=Rivers of Gold: The Rise of the Spanish Empire, from Columbus to Magellan|year=2005|publisher=Random House|isbn=0-375-50204-1}}
*{{cite book|last=Wardrope|first=William|title=Venezuela|year=2003|publisher=Gareth Stevens Publishing|isbn=0-8368-2369-9|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=zlckFMNHGTUC}}
*{{cite book|last=Warhol|first=Tom|title=Tundra|year=2006|publisher=Marshall Cavendish|isbn=978-0-7614-2193-1|url=https://books.google.com/?id=oYUc7o43cuAC}}
*{{cite book|last=Wunder|first=Sven|title=Oil wealth and the fate of the forest: a comparative study of eight tropical countries|year=2003|publisher=[[Routledge]]|isbn=0-203-98667-9|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=n2nQ0A8BmCYC}}
*{{cite book|last=Yergin|first=Daniel|authorlink=Daniel Yergin|title=[[The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power]]|year=1991|publisher=Simon and Schuster|isbn=1-4391-1012-3}}
*{{cite book|last=Zakaria|first=Fareed|authorlink=Fareed Zakaria|title=From Wealth to Power|year=1999|publisher=Princeton University Press|isbn=0-691-01035-8}}
*{{cite book|last=Zamora|first=Margarita|title=Reading Columbus|year=1993|publisher=University of California Press|isbn=0-520-08297-4|url=http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft009nb0cv&doc.view=content&chunk.id=d0e2655&toc.depth=1&anchor.id=0&brand=eschol|archiveurl=https://web.archive.org/web/20110511090548/http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft009nb0cv&doc.view=content&chunk.id=d0e2655&toc.depth=1&anchor.id=0&brand=eschol|archivedate=11 May 2011|accessdate=23 April 2010}}
;Talks and interviews
*{{cite web|author=Lander, Edgardo | authorlink=Edgardo Lander| title = ''The Modern History of Venezuela (9 parts)'' | url=http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1168|date=April 2014}}
== External links ==
{{Sister project links|voy=Venezuela}}
*{{sp icon}} [http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/ Official government website]
*{{en icon}} [https://web.archive.org/web/20130921055048/https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/world-leaders-1/world-leaders-v/venezuela.html Chief of State and Cabinet Members]
*{{en icon}} {{CIA World Factbook link|ve|Venezuela}}
*{{en icon}} [https://web.archive.org/web/20080607090601/http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/govpubs/for/venezuela.htm Venezuela] at ''UCB Libraries GovPubs''
*{{en icon}} {{dmoz|Regional/South_America/Venezuela/}}
*{{en icon}} [http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/vetoc.html Venezuela] from the Library of Congress Country Studies (1990)
*{{en icon}} [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1229345.stm Venezuela profile] from the [[BBC News]]
*{{sv icon}} {{osmrelation-inline|272644|bullet=no}}
*{{en icon}} [http://www.cartografareilpresente.org/rubrique109.html?lang=en Maps on Venezuela – Cartographic features]
*{{en icon}} [http://www.ifs.du.edu/ifs/frm_CountryProfile.aspx?Country=VE Key Development Forecasts for Venezuela] from [[International Futures]]
*{{ar icon}} [https://web.archive.org/web/20131218043924/http://www.immigrationtovenezuela.com.ve/index.php/2013-10-02-22-52-18/2013-10-02-22-58-18 Venezuela and Tourism] from [[Sky Immigration]]
{{Venezuela topics}}
|list =
|title = [[File:Gnome-globe.svg|30px]]&nbsp;Geographic locale
|list =
{{Administrative divisions of Venezuela}}
{{World Heritage Sites in Venezuela}}
{{Countries of South America}}
|title = International membership
|list =
{{Andean Community of Nations}}
{{Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA)}}
{{Arab League}}
{{Mercosur\Mercosul (Southern Common Market)}}
{{G15 nations}}
{{Organization of American States}}
{{Union of South American Nations (Unasur\Unasul)}}
{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2016}}
{{Authority control}}
[[Category:Venezuela| ]]
[[Category:Countries in South America]]
[[Category:Countries in the Caribbean]]
[[Category:Federal constitutional republics]]
[[Category:Former Spanish colonies]]
[[Category:G15 nations]]
[[Category:Member states of OPEC]]
[[Category:Member states of the United Nations]]
[[Category:Member states of the Union of South American Nations]]
[[Category:Spanish-speaking countries and territories]]
[[Category:States and territories established in 1811]]

Revision as of 12:51, 7 March 2018

Venezuela' is an emerging one-party state on the northeast coast of South America. The dictator, Nicolás Maduro, the heir of Hugo Chávez, who was democratically elected. has banned all opposition parties. The last election is scheduled for May 2018. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country. Private ownership of guns was banned in 2012 and a program of gun confiscation was initiated.<re>http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18288430</ref?

Notes and references