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  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
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  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Venezuela

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Venezuela
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Venezuela was one of 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. Current concerns include: an embattled president, a divided military, drug-related conflicts along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

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   Geography    Venezuela
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
8 00 N, 66 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
South America
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly more than twice the size of California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,993 km
border countries: Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,800 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 15 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.95%
permanent crops: 0.92%
other: 96.13% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
540 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
on major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall

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   People    Venezuela
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25,017,387 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 30.5% (male 3,930,413; female 3,687,744)
15-64 years: 64.5% (male 8,107,382; female 8,034,905)
65 years and over: 5% (male 571,289; female 685,654) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 25.2 years
male: 24.6 years
female: 25.8 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.44% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
19.34 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.9 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 22.99 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.18 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 19.57 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 74.06 years
male: 71.02 years
female: 77.32 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.31 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.5% - note: no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
62,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,000 (2001 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Venezuelan(s)
adjective: Venezuelan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.4%
male: 93.8%
female: 93.1% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Venezuela
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
federal republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Caracas
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 federal district* (distrito federal), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales**, Distrito Federal*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia
note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
5 July 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 5 July (1811)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
30 December 1999
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on organic laws as of July 1999; open, adversarial court system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL (since 28 April 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL (since 28 April 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 30 July 2000 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias reelected president; percent of vote - 60%
note: a special presidential recall vote on 15 August 2004 resulted in a victory for CHAVEZ; percent of vote - 58% in favor of CHAVEZ fulfilling the remaining two years of his term, 42% in favor of terminating his presidency immediately
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (165 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; three seats reserved for the indigenous peoples of Venezuela)
elections: last held 30 July 2000 (next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - pro-government 108 (MVR 92, MAS 6, indigenous 3, other 7), opposition 57 (AD 33, COPEI 6, Justice First 5, other 13)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Tribuna Suprema de Justicia (magistrates are elected by the National Assembly for a single 12-year term)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Action or AD [Henry RAMOS Allup]; Fifth Republic Movement or MVR [Hugo CHAVEZ]; Homeland for All or PPT [Jose ALBORNOZ]; Justice First [Julio BORGES]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Hector MUJICA]; National Convergence or Convergencia [Juan Jose CALDERA]; Radical Cause or La Causa R [Antonio HERRERA]; Social Christian Party or COPEI [Eduardo FERNANDEZ]; Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique SALAS Romer]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; VECINOS groups; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, FAO, G-3, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Bernardo ALVAREZ
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles S. SHAPIRO
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (212) 975-9234, 975-6411
FAX: [58] (212) 975-8991
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of seven white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band

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   Economy    Venezuela
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Venezuela continues to be highly dependent on the petroleum sector, which accounts for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and more than half of government operating revenues. Despite higher oil prices at the end of 2002 and into 2003, domestic political instability, culminating in a disastrous two-month national oil strike from December 2002 to February 2003, temporarily halted economic activity. The economy remained in depression in 2003, declining by 9.2% after an 8.9% fall in 2002. In late 2003, President CHAVEZ committed himself to $1 billion in new social programs, money the government does not have.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $117.9 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-9.2% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4,800 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 5%
industry: 50%
services: 45% (2001)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.6% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
47% (1998 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 0.8%
highest 10%: 36.5% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
49.5 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.38 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 13%, industry 23%, services 64% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $19.33 billion
expenditures: $24.34 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.6 billion (2003)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
38.8% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, iron ore mining, construction materials, food processing, textiles, steel, aluminum, motor vehicle assembly
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-15.4% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
87.6 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
81.47 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.08 million bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
505,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
63.95 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31.71 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
31.71 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.202 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$9.659 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$25.86 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, bauxite and aluminum, steel, chemicals, agricultural products, basic manufactures
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 48.1%, Netherlands Antilles 12.1%, Dominican Republic 2.7% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$10.71 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 27.4%, Brazil 8.1%, Colombia 6.7%, Mexico 4.1% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$20.67 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$32.51 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$74 million (2000)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
bolivar (VEB)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
VEB
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
bolivares per US dollar - 1,607.79 (2003), 1,160.95 (2002), 723.666 (2001), 679.96 (2000), 605.717 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Venezuela
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,841,800 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,463,600 (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern and expanding
domestic: domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; substantial increase in digitalization of exchanges and trunk lines; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable of digital multimedia services
international: country code - 58; 3 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber-optic network
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 201, FM NA (20 in Caracas), shortwave 11 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
66 (plus 45 repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.ve
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
35,301 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,274,400 (2002)

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   Transportation    Venezuela
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 682 km
standard gauge: 682 km 1.435-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 96,155 km
paved: 32,308 km
unpaved: 63,847 km (1999 est.)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
7,100 km
note: Rio Orinoco and Lago de Maracaibo accept oceangoing vessels
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
extra heavy crude 992 km; gas 5,262 km; oil 7,484 km; refined products 1,681 km; unknown (oil/water) 141 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Amuay, Bajo Grande, El Tablazo, La Guaira, La Salina, Maracaibo, Matanzas, Palua, Puerto Cabello, Puerto la Cruz, Puerto Ordaz, Puerto Sucre, Punta Cardon
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 48 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 740,919 GRT/1,191,483 DWT
by type: bulk 6, cargo 7, container 2, liquefied gas 5, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 16, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea/passenger 1
foreign-owned: Belgium 1, Denmark 2, Greece 2, Spain 1, United States 2
registered in other countries: 4 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
368 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 128
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 31
914 to 1,523 m: 63
under 914 m: 18 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 240
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 89
under 914 m: 139 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Venezuela
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
National Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales or FAN) includes Ground Forces or Army (Fuerzas Terrestres or Ejercito), Naval Forces (Fuerzas Navales or Armada - including marines and Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerzas Aereas or Aviacion), Armed Forces of Cooperation or National Guard (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperacion or Guardia Nacional)
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 6,886,775 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 4,953,803 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 250,730 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1,125.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.3% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Venezuela
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before UNCLOS that the Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; maritime boundary dispute with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela and the Caribbean Sea; US, France and the Netherlands recognize Venezuela's claim to give full effect to Aves Island, which creates a Venezuelan EEZ/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea; Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation and other states' recognition of it
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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