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Image: Paolo Costa Baldi
South America that borders the Caribbean Sea in north and the North Atlantic Ocean in east.
Flag of Venezuela (since 2007)
Neighboring countries are Colombia in west and south west, Brazil in south and Guyana in east. The country shares also overlapping maritime borders with Barbados, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Puerto Rico.
With an area of 912,000 km² Venezuela is slightly more than 2.5 times the size of Germany or slightly more than twice the size of the U.S. state of California.
Venezuela has a population of 31.1 million inhabitants (in 2015) of whom 6 million live in the capital and largest city Caracas. The country's population is concentrated along the Caribbean coast, only 5% of all Venezuelans live south of the course of Orinoco river. Official language is Spanish.
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela | República Bolivariana de Venezuela
Venezuela was one of the three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Ecuador).
For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959.
Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. At the same time, democratic institutions have deteriorated, threats to freedom of expression have increased, and political polarization has grown.
Current concerns include: an increasingly politicized military, rampant violent crime, high inflation, and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods, medicine, and medical supplies, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.
Venezuela assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2015-16 term.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)
República Bolivariana de Venezuela
short form: Venezuela
int'l long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
ISO Country Code: ve, ven
Local Time = UTC -4:30 h
Actual Time: Tue-June-27 18:08
Country Calling Code: +58
Capital City: Caracas (pop. 6 million)
Other major Cities:
Maracaibo, Valencia, Barquisimeto.
Type: Federal Republic.
Independence: 5 July 1811.
Constitution: 30 December 1999.
Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean.
Area: 912,050 km² (352,143 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains; Guiana Highlands in southeast.
Climate: Varies from tropical to temperate, depending on elevation.
Population: 31.1 million (2015)
Ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Amerindian.
Religion: Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Languages: Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds.
Agriculture products: Corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish.
Industries: Petroleum, iron ore mining, construction materials, food processing, textiles, steel, aluminum, motor vehicle assembly.
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, agricultural products
Exports partners: USA 26.6%, India 13.7%, China 11.7%, Cuba 6.4% (2015)
Imports - commodities: agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products
Imports - partners: USA 18.4%, China 15.3%, Brazil 9.7%, Colombia 5.9%, Mexico 4.2% (2015)
Currency: Bolivar (VEB)
| Government System
Venezuela is a federal republic; chief of state and head of government is the president. The president is elected directly by simple majority popular vote for a 6-year term and no term limits. Venezuela's legislative branch is a unicameral National Assembly (Asamblea Nacional), its members serve 5-year terms.
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.
Official Sites of VenezuelaMinisterio de la Presidencia de la República de Venezuela
Official site of the Presidency of Venezuela (Spanish)
Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela
The National Assembly of Venezuela.
Gobierno en Línea
Venezuela's Government portal site (Spanish)
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores (MRE)
The Ministry of External Relations
Misión Permanente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela ante las Naciones Unidas
Venezuela's representation to the United Nations.
Embassy of the Republic of Venezuela
Embajada de Venezuela en Washington.
Diplomatic Missions of Venezuela
Address list of Venezuela's Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
Oficina Central de Estadística e Informática
Central Office of statistics (in Spanish)
Map of Venezuela
Political Map of Venezuela.
Google Earth Venezuela
Searchable map and satellite view of Venezuela.
Google Earth Caracas
Searchable map and satellite view of Venezuela's capital.
Map of South America
Reference map of South America.
News & OpinionThe government has been accused of creating an intimidatory climate for journalists, while some private media have been accused of being involved in the opposition movement against president Nicolas Maduro.
RSF states: [President] Nicolás Maduro, does his utmost to silence independent media outlets. The climate for journalists has been extremely tense since the onset of a political and economic crisis in 2016, and is exacerbated by Maduro’s frequent references to the “media war” being waged by national and international media outlets to discredit his administration.
Newspapers (in Spanish)
Business newspaper based in Caracas.
Venezuelan Newspaper and one of the most widely read and circulated daily.
Venezuelan news and infos, a major national newspaper.
Caracas based newspaper.
Entertainment magazine Venevision.
How Does Populism Turn Authoritarian? Venezuela Is a Case in Point
New York Times article about democracy’s implosion in the country.
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Arts & Culture
Biblioteca Nacional de Venezuela - BNV
The National Library of Venezuela (in Spanish).
Galería de Arte Nacional
Museum for Venezuelan Art.
Instituto de las Artes de la Imagen y el Espacio
Arts organization in Caracas.
Sofía Imber Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas
Caracas contemporary art museum. After a painting by Matisse was recovered in Florida in 2012, the museum is under investigation, and its website gone silent.
Business & Economy
Banco Central de Venezuela
The Central Bank of Venezuela.
Bolsa de Valores de Caracas
Caracas Stock Exchange.
Camara de Comercio de Caracas Dreccion Ejecutiva
Chamber of Commerce Caracas.
Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. - PDVSA
Venezuela's state oil company.
Low-cost airline based in Maracaibo.
Aerovias Venezolanas, S.A . went into bankruptcy due to poor management in 2002.
Venezuela's flag carrier between 1960 and 1997, ceased operations in January 1997.
Image: Heribert Dezeo
Travel and Tour Consumer Information
Destination Venezuela - Travel and Tour Guides
Discover Venezuela, a country with diverse natural attractions: the Andes and the Amazonas, Angel Falls, Morrocoy National Park (protected peninsula and marine park), Mochima National Park (montane forests and marine area), Playa El Yaque (windsurfing and kitesurfing), Pico Bolívar 4,978 m (highest mountain in Venezuela), National Pantheon of Venezuela (final resting place for national heroes), Playa El Agua (most famous beach on Margarita Island), Venezuelan Coastal Range (mountain range), Canaima National Park (waterfalls, Canaima Lagoon, Devil's Canyon)
tourist boards, attractions, festivals, events, accommodation, hotels, biking, hiking, trekking, climbing, diving, tours and much more.
Buró de Convenciones y Visitantes Venezuela (in Spanish)
Venezuela Conventions and Visitors Bureau with information on travel and tourism in Venezuela (in English)
A Tourism Directory.
Virtual Venezuela - in Spanish.
A Guide to Venezuela.
Web Turístico de Margarita - provides information on the islands Margarita, Cubagua and Coche.
Caracas - Gobierno del Distrito Capital
Caracas official government website.
Universidad Central de Venezuela
Highest ranking public university of Venezuela, located in Caracas (in Spanish).
Universidad de Los Andes
As a study center founded in 1785, 1810 transformed into a university, the second-oldest university in Venezuela has its main campus in the city of Mérida.
Universidad Nueva Esparta
Private university in Caracas, founded in 1954.
Universidad Simón Bolívar
Scientific and technological public university, founded in 1968 (Spanish).
Environment & Nature
Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales Renovables
Ministry of the environment and renewable natural resources (in Spanish).
History of Venezuela
Wikipedia article about Venezuela's history, part of a series on the History of Venezuela.
History of Venezuela
Comprehensive information about Venezuela's history.
WWW-VL History Index: Venezuela
Index of links for the History of Venezuela
Sources and additional Information on Venezuela
Amnesty International: Venezuela
BBC Country Profile: Venezuela
The Heritage Foundation: Venezuela
Human Rights Watch: Venezuela
Reporters Without Borders: Venezuela
The World Factbook -- Venezuela
Other Countries of South America:
Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | French Guiana
Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay
Countries of Middle and Central America:
Belize | Costa Rica | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama
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