|Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela|
|Motto : " God and Federation " [ 1 ]|
| Hymn : Glory to the Brave People|
| Capital |
(and most populous city)
| Caracas |
|Official language||español |
|• Co-officers||Indian languages [ 1 ] [ 2 ]|
|Demonym||Venezuelan -na [ 2 ]|
|Form of government||Presidential federal republic with dominant party|
|• President|| Maduro |
( partially recognized ) [ n 1 ]
(partially recognized) [ n 2 ]
|Legislative body||National Assembly of Venezuela|
| Formation |
• Supreme Board
• Current Constitution
March 27, 1528
September 8, 1777
April 19, 1810
July 5, 1811
from Gran Colombia
January 13, 1830
March 30, 1845
December 15, 1999
|• Total||916 445 km² |
|• Water (%)||0,3 %|
|Coast line||2183 km aprox.|
|Highest point||Bolivar Peak|
|Total population||50th position|
|• Estimate (2019)||28 515 829 [ 3 ] hab.|
|• Density (est.)||35,7 hab./km²|
|Start ( PPA )||78th position|
|• Total (2020)||USD 144 737 million [ 4 ]|
|• Per capita||USD 5 178,27 (140.°)|
|START (nominal)||92nd position|
|• Total (2021)||USD 42 530 million [ 4 ]|
|• Per capita||USD 1 541,70 (152.°)|
|IDH (2020)||0711 [ 5 ] [ 4 ] ( 113th ) - high [ 4 ]|
|Currency||bolívar [ 5 ] [ 6 ] ( VES )|
|Time zone||VST (UTC-4)[n 3]|
|ISO code||862 / VEN / VE|
|Internet domain|| |
|Telephone prefix|| |
|Radio prefix|| |
|Country acronym for aircraft||YV|
|Country acronym for automobiles||YV|
Venezuela officially Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , [ 7 ] [ n 4 ] is a country located in the part north of America of the South , consisting of an area continental and a large number of islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea , whose capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas . [ N 5 ]
It has a land area of 916,445 km². The continental territory limits to the north with the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean , to the west with Colombia , to the south with Brazil and to the east with Guyana . With the latter country, the Venezuelan State maintains a claim on 159,542 km² of territory west of the Essequibo River , this area is known as Guayana Esequiba or Area in Claim . [ 8 ] Due to its maritime spaces , it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km² of territorial sea , [ 9] 22,224 km² in itscontiguous zone, [ 9 ] 471,507 square kilometers of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept ofexclusive economic zone, [ 10 ] [ 11 ] [ 12 ] and 99,889 square kilometers ofplatform continental. [ 12 ] This marine zone borders those of thirteen States. [ 13 ] The country has avery high biodiversityand occupies the seventh place in the world list of nations with the highest number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the rainforest of the Amazon basin in the south , through the extensive plains of the Llanos , the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco river delta in the east.
The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522, amidst resistance from the Amerindian peoples . In 1811, it became one of the first Hispanic American territories to declare independence , which was not safely 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 from political upheaval and autocracy and remained dominated by regional caudillos until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments. The economic crisis in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots in 1989 , two coup attempts in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993 . A collapse in trust in existing political parties led to the 1998 election of former career officer Hugo Chávez , implicated in the coup, and the start of what he called the Bolivarian Revolution . Chávez began his government by convening aConstituent Assembly in 1999 , where a new Constitution was drafted that would change the official name of the country to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. [ 14 ]
By 2010, Venezuela had the largest oil reserves in the world and is one of the world's leading oil exporters . Before the exploitation of oil, the country was an exporter of agricultural products, such as coffee and cocoa , but oil quickly came to dominate the country's exports and income. The global oil oversupply in the 1980s led to a foreign debt crisis and a prolonged economic crisis. The inflation soared in 1996 and poverty rates increased to 66% in 1995. For 1998, GDP per capitait fell to the same level as in 1963, a third of its maximum, reached in 1978. The government of Hugo Chávez was characterized by its anti-imperialist ideology and a change in the geopolitics of the oil market seeking new markets [ 15 ] and supporting countries lack of oil resources, public spending increased with the theory of distributing wealth and foreign debt grew to more than 118 billion dollars in an uncontrolled manner [ 16 ] [ 17 ] that despite having an oil boom the consequences would be noticed years later [ 18 ]foreign exchange earnings that largely invested in policies of social welfare , while Venezuela 's domestic production was stagnant during the first years of his government, increasing social spending and temporarily reducing poverty and economic inequality .
Years later, reduced income, increased imports, corruption , declining domestic production, and excess public spending are widely cited as factors that destabilized the nation's economy. [ 18 ] This destabilization led to a crisis in the country , leading to hyperinflation , economic depression , shortages of basic products, and dramatic increases in unemployment, poverty, disease, infant mortality, malnutrition, and crime . [ 19 ] [ 20 ] [21 ] [ 22 ] In late 2017 , the credit rating agencies declared Venezuela in arrears with payment of debt . [ 18 ] In 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report stating that the Venezuelan government has committed systematic human rights violations . [ 23 ] by September 2020 Venezuela continued without paying its debtFor this reason, it requested to renegotiate its overdue bonds and arrears, waiving Venezuela the right to expire in three years to claim that the creditor has to sue in exchange for a postponement and the resignation of the bondholders of their legal actions in international courts . [ 24 ] [ 25 ]
In 1498, as part of his third voyage , Admiral Christopher Columbus sailed near the Orinoco delta , to later enter the Gulf of Paria . Columbus, in his letter to the Catholic Monarchs , expresses having reached the " earthly paradise " and, confused by the unusual salinity of the waters, writes:
... Around my purpose regarding the Land of Grace, the river and lake that I found there, so big that it can be called a sea more than a lake, because a lake is a place of water, and when it is large it is called a sea, so they are called in this way to the one from Galilee and the Dead. And I say that if this river does not come from the Earthly Paradise, it comes and proceeds from an infinite land, from the Austral Continent, of which until now there has been no news; but I have very settled in my soul that where I said, in Tierra de Gracia, is the Earthly Paradise. [ 27 ]
Columbus called these paradisiacal places as "Land of Grace" , an expression that has prevailed to refer to the country par excellence . But the following year , an expedition commanded by Alonso de Ojeda traveled the coast of the territory until it reached the entrance of the current Lake of Maracaibo , in a gulf located between the Paraguaná and La Guajira peninsulas . On that voyage, the crew observed houses built by the Añú Indians , erected on wooden piles that protruded from the water. These stilt houses reminded him ofAmérico Vespucio the city of Venice - Venezia , in Italian -, as stated in a letter to Piero de 'Medici . It was for this reason that inspired Ojeda to give the name of Venezziola or Venezuela —Pequeña Venecia— to the region and the gulf in which they had made the discovery, and thus received the name of the Gulf of Venezuela . The name coined by the explorer would then envelop the entire territory. [ 26 ] Later the region was also known as Tierra Firme , as it was the first non-island region of the continent to be explored by Europeans.
Probably the popularization of the name "Little Venice" in Europe is due to the concession made to the commercial house of the Welser to explore and govern part of the territory of South America . [ 28 ] The name Klein-Venedig appears on various historical maps and documents as a German translation of Venezuela. [ 29 ] In fact, Juan de Castellanos in his Elegías attributes the name to Ambrosio Alfinger :
And Venezuela from Venice comes
What such a name did he give par excellenceGerman, saying it suits [ 30 ]
The human being appeared in the territory known as Venezuela approximately 30,000 years ago. In this period of time four periods are distinguished: Paleoindian ( 30,000 BC - 5000 BC ), Mesoindian ( 5000 BC - 1000 BC ), Neo-Indian ( 1000 BC - 1498 ) and Indohispano ( 1499 to the present ). The Paleo-Indian and Meso-Indian periods were characterized by the development of instruments to hunt large animals such as the megaterium , the mastodonand the glyptodon ; as well as the subsequent development of fishing gear and navigation to the Caribbean islands .
During the Neo-Indian period there was an important development of indigenous agriculture , architecture and ceramics : embankments , elevations, dams, terraces, pipes and vaults for food were built ; They also acquired experience and knowledge about the natural cycles of the local flora and fauna , and in this way they obtained a better use; In addition, they practiced carving sculptures and ceramic works, where the series of the Venus de Tacarigua found around the Lake of Valencia stands out.. In the same way, ceramic ornaments were found in the Andean region, belonging to the Carache culture .
Among the most important tribes stood out the Timoto-Cuicas located in the Andes and culturally but not linguistically linked to the Chibchas ; for their part, the Caribs were distributed in the eastern and central regions of the country in Guayana , part of Zulia and the Llanos , who after territorial conflicts acquired the north coast of South America and spread to the Antilles ; the Arawaks , settled in part of the regions of what is now theAmazonas state , much of the west, central west and part of the coasts. Some peoples of Arawak descent are the Wayúu , located in the west of the country to the north, and the Caquetíos , who populated the north of the current Falcón state and were displaced by the conquerors towards the western plains . There were also small migrations of independent groups that populated the Orinoco river basin and other small areas of the country.
The indigenous people of Venezuela used mud , straw or palm leaves to build houses, such as stilt houses built with wood , reeds and straw. The Timoto-Cuicas, for their part, used rock as their main architectural material. Other materials, such as seashells , were used for ordinary commercial exchange, or barter . The fauna of the prehistoric and pre-Columbian years was made up of tapirs , saber-toothed tigers , giant armadillos , among others. [ 33] When theSpaniards arrived,there were numerous ethnic groups in Venezuela that spokeCaribbean languages,Arawak,ChibchaandTupí-Guaraní. In addition, they were able to design avery richmythology, and thecosmogonyof tribes like that of themaquiritarebears similarities tobiblicalGenesis . [ 34 ]
Excavations have found evidence of pre - Hispanic cultures settled on Venezuelan soil. Among the samples found, those found in the Unare river basin , near the town of Onoto , in Anzoátegui state, during the works for the construction of a dam, stand out. There, dozens of large lithic spheres were discovered, some up to two meters in diameter. Investigations carried out have determined that such spheres are not of natural origin, since they show evidence of flaking and ornamentation , in addition to the characteristic percussion points of this type of sculpture. [ 35 ]
Conquest and colonial times
Venezuela was sighted for the first time during the third voyage of Christopher Columbus , on August 1 , 1498 , when he reached the mouth of the Orinoco River after having passed in front of Trinidad Island . [ 36 ] It was the first time that the Spanish had touched the mainland, taking into account that in the first two trips they reached island territories. Columbus observed the currents of the Orinoco and the jungles , and continued his journey through the Gulf of Paria , skirting the coast near the island of Margarita . In 1499 , Alonso de OjedaHe made a more extensive expedition along the coast, arriving at Cabo de la Vela on the La Guajira peninsula after passing through the Gulf of Paria, the Paraguaná peninsula and the Gulf of Venezuela .
Shortly after, the Spanish Empire undertook the colonization of the territory with the establishment of the ephemeral government of Coquibacoa and of cities and trade routes between the mainland and the metropolis . Demarcations were made in order to create a jurisdictional structure that materialized with the creation of the provinces of Margarita ( 1525 ), Venezuela ( 1527 ), Trinidad ( 1532 ), Nueva Andalucía and Guayana ( 1568 ) and later that of Maracaibo ( 1676).). In 1528 King Carlos I issued the Capitulation of Madrid , temporarily leasing part of the Province of Venezuela to the Welser family and the Fugger family , which led to the creation of the Klein-Venedig , one of the German governorates in America . [ 37 ] However, the Spanish faced several rebellions by local indigenous people . The most prominent were the one commanded by the chief Guaicaipuro in 1560 and the uprising of the quiriquires in1600 , and even from his own countrymen, such as Lope de Aguirre and his "marañones" from Peru .
The colonial order finished its implantation towards the end of the 16th century with the cabildo and the Catholic Church . At the same time, a miscegenation was fostered among the inhabitants of the provinces , which would end up defining the social profile of the country. Trade and the extraction of mineral and natural resources flourished, with the profuse export of cocoa , indigo and tobacco standing out , while the provinces faced pirate attacks such as Henry Morgan's on Maracaibo in 1669 . Faced with the rise of smugglingby the region in the following years, it was resolved to create in 1728 the Real Compañía Guipuzcoana to exercise the commercial monopoly .
The existing provinces, then alternately governed by the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo and that of Santafé de Bogotá , became part of the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada in 1717 . With the rise to power of the Bourbon House, King Carlos III formed a single autonomous entity by creating the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1777 . This new political union would be consolidated with the creation of the Real Audiencia de Caracas in 1786 .
On the other hand, territorial losses were experienced during this period: from 1615 the region west of the Essequibo River began to be invaded by the Dutch , who also took Aruba , Curaçao and Bonaire militarily due to the Eighty Years War , between 1634 and 1636 . Subsequently, the British seized the islands of Trinidad and Tobago after the signing of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802 , towards the end of theFrench revolutionary wars .
At the end of the 18th century , a sum of factors such as the introduction of the encyclopedism and the Enlightenment , the independence of the United States , the French Revolution , the antipathy towards political-economic centralism with the metropolis and the Napoleonic invasion of Spain , inspired the first independence attempts in Venezuela. Already in 1748 the cocoa farmer Juan Francisco de León had risen up with some success against the Compañía Guipuzcoana. . But perhaps the first massive armed rebellion was the one that unleashed, in 1795 , the sambo José Leonardo Chirino , in the west of the country, in the town of Coro .
Another conspiracy was produced by Manuel Gual and José María España in 1797 , this being the first with popular roots. Both attempts were unsuccessful, with their respective leaders executed . For his part, the Creole Francisco de Miranda , in 1806 twice tried to invade Venezuelan territory by La Vela de Coro with an armed expedition from Haiti , and supported by the British. His incursions ended in failures due to the religious preaching against him and the indifference of the population. The posteriorConjuration of the Mantuans had the same fate.
The date of April 19, 1810, marked the beginning of the Venezuelan revolution. Vicente Emparan , at that time the Captain General of Venezuela , was dismissed by the Cabildo of Caracas . This led to the formation of the Supreme Board of Caracas , the first form of autonomous government. The Board ruled until 2 as March as 1811 , the day settled the First National Congress , the organization that appointed a triumvirate composed of Cristóbal Mendoza , Juan Escalona and Baltasar Padrón . Months later, theJuly 5 of that year, the Declaration of Independence was finally signed . But this First Republic collapsed due to the realistic reaction . In July 1812 Miranda , Commander-in-Chief of the newly created army, capitulated in San Mateo . According to Pedro Gual , Miranda thought that the capitulation would allow him time to organize another front, possibly in New Granada , where the independence movement was already underway. [ 40 ]
The movement would have a new impetus in 1813 , when Simón Bolívar , after taking control of Cúcuta , undertook the Admirable Campaign , an armed expedition through the Andes and the western region, together with Atanasio Girardot and José Félix Ribas . After making public the controversial Decree of War to the Death , he faced the royalists in several battles along the route to the capital. At the end of the campaign, he triumphantly entered Caracas , where he was titled as Liberator , and where the Second Republic was proclaimed., although the fighting continued in other parts of the country. However, the following year a loyal rebellion to the Crown broke out under José Tomás Boves . The violent push of his troops forced the population to emigrate to the East , as well as the expulsion of the patriots from Tierra Firme, thus causing the Second Republic to fall.
From New Granada, Bolívar attempted a reissue of the Admirable Campaign to rescue the republic, but due to lack of support he moved to Jamaica to get British support, and then to Haiti, where the rest of the patriotic leaders took refuge. There the expedition of the Keys to Tierra Firme was planned , which set sail in March 1816. After taking the island of Margarita , the republicans continued attacking Carúpano and Maracay , but were repulsed. In a second expedition , Bolívar took command of the republican troops stationed in Guayana, with which he managed to capture Angosturaand from where he re-established the institutions, creating the Third Republic . For his part, José Antonio Páez carried out very important military operations to liberate the central region of the country under the command of his llaneros .
The war in the plain continued until 1819. That year, Bolívar attempted the reorganization of the State with the installation of the Congress of Angostura , the result of which was the creation of Gran Colombia . In 1820, the Armistice and War Regularization Treaty was signed , ending the war to the death and ceasing hostilities until April 28, 1821. On June 24 of that same year, Bolívar confronted Miguel de la Torre in the battle of Carabobo , which resulted in the republican victory. This victory meant the liquidation of the royalist troops in Venezuela, leaving remnants that would be defeated in the naval battle of Lake Maracaibo.in 1823. With the taking of the stronghold of Puerto Cabello by the liberating army , independence was finally sealed.
According to its Fundamental Law, the Republic of Colombia, known by many as Gran Colombia, integrated the former Captaincy General of Venezuela with the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada and the Free Province of Guayaquil , which was later joined by the Audiencia of Quito . The Congress elected in Angostura moved to Cúcuta , where a Constitution was sanctioned in August 1821, and in which the political organization of this State was defined. Bolívar was elected president by majority, and Francisco de Paula Santander was made vice president. Bolívar would continue his liberation campaigns in the south , in which he would promote the liberation of thePeru and the creation of Bolivia .
The new state regulated commerce and public institutions, and also decreed the abolition of slavery . [ 41 ] But the discrepancy between Bolivarians ( centralists ) and Santanderists ( federalists ) stressed the internal order. In addition to the economic crisis, the lack of infrastructure, idiosyncratic differences of interests, and the desire for autonomy on the part of Venezuelans with respect to their territory, secession germinated. The Cosiata of 1826, led by Páez, forged the disagreement of the department of Venezuela with the government of Bogotá. To calm the upheaval, Bolívar ruled by decree from 1828, but this did not prevent the separation of Venezuela , which finally manifested itself in November 1829. In May 1830 the Congress of Valencia was installed (provisional capital of the country on the occasion of the congress) to make decisions regarding the steps to be followed by the District of Venezuela in view of the growing and continuous distancing with the Central Government. This ended in the secession of Venezuela from Greater Colombia and the birth of the State of Venezuela , when a new constitution was adopted .
Caudillismo and Federal War
The main political leader and strongman of Venezuela at its dawn as a republic was José Antonio Páez , who was sworn in as President in April 1831, and his Vice President was Diego Bautista Urbaneja . Páez represented the Conservative Party , made up mostly of military veterans of the War of Independence. There was relative peace and the economy showed a recovery stimulated by the Freedom of Contract Act of 1834 and coffee exports . [ 42 ] In 1835 he delegated power to José María Vargas , the first civilian to lead the country. This was not to the liking of the liberal-minded military., who rebelled against the government in the Revolution of the Reforms . Vargas abdicated in 1836, and his term was terminated by Carlos Soublette .
Páez, after having defeated a liberal rebellion, was elected again in 1838. He faced the world economic crisis of that year, which hit Venezuela hard, and the growing liberal opposition represented by Antonio Leocadio Guzmán , at the same time that he initiated territorial disputes against the British over the Essequibo question . Soublette was again president in 1843, and in 1847 General José Tadeo Monagas was elected with great support, but then broke with the conservatives. Their attempt to depose him led to the attack on Congress in 1848 . The General ensured that his brother José Gregorio Monagas was made president in 1851, who proclaimed the definitiveabolition of slavery in 1854. José Tadeo returned to power in 1855, but his authoritarian regime saw its end in the March Revolution of 1858 , led by Julián Castro . The latter was appointed as Provisional President of the Republic at the Valencia Convention and later as Interim President, making Valencia again the provisional capital of the country.
The decrees of the new government created discontent among liberals, and instability made the outbreak of an armed conflict known as the Federal War imminent . The Scream of the Federation marked its beginning, and it developed as a guerrilla war . The liberal federalists obtained important triumphs thanks to their leader Ezequiel Zamora , who died in San Carlos in strange circumstances. [ n 6 ] Juan Crisóstomo Falcón replaced him , after which they reduced the central forces. In 1863 the Treaty of Coche was signed, which meant the access to power of the liberals and the end of a war that decimated the population. [ N 7 ] [ 43 ] [ 44 ] However this result, new regional caudillismos they settled own army. Falcón assumed the presidency and promulgated his Decree of Guarantees , [ 45 ] which abolished the death penalty . This provision, ratified in the new constitution , [ 46 ] makes Venezuela the oldest modern state to implement it. [ N 8 ]
Falcón sowed a grudge among both conservatives and liberal dissent, causing both sides to unite to overthrow him in 1867 with the Blue Revolution . An army led by Miguel Antonio Rojas rose up in the central region, with former president José Tadeo Monagas in the eastern region. Given the difficult situation, Falcón delegated power to Manuel Ezequiel Bruzual . But by surrounding the capital, Rojas signed the Treaty of Antímano , recognizing the government and assuming the military command of the country. The Orientals, seeing the treaty as a betrayal, continued their campaign towards Caracas, which they finally captured, thus establishing the government of theblues, Guillermo Tell Villegas and José Ruperto Monagas .
Antonio Guzmán Blanco , son of Antonio Leocadio Guzmán , plotted together with his father the return to power of the Liberals. Fleeing because of the government's rejection, he organized an invasion in Curaçao supported by regional leaders such as Joaquín Crespo and Francisco Linares Alcántara . In 1870 he landed on the coast and took positions in the center-west of the country while he was swelling his forces. He took Caracas in April, which is why his accession to power is known as the April Revolution .
Once made president, he implemented measures to modernize the country and establish the final order, on a platform known as "Yellow Liberalism." He created the Conservatory of Fine Arts , issued the Decree of Public and Compulsory Instruction , made the Venezuelan peso the national currency, promoted agriculture , organized the first population census in the country, [ 48 ] improved infrastructure and began an urban transformation of Caracas , to which he wanted to give Parisian qualities, [ 49 ]Without abandoning a centralist and authoritarian character. He fought several caudillista uprisings, managing to calm the turbulent panorama of insurrections. His policy was a promotion of the cult of the heroes of the past, especially Simón Bolívar, as a strategy to unite the country. Likewise, it weakened the power of the Catholic Church , by passing to the State functions that were traditionally carried out by it.
In 1877, he passed command to Francisco Linares Alcántara , so that he could continue his work and go to Europe. But the break of Linares with him and the discontinuation of the progressive line, provoked the Reclamation Revolution that overthrew him in 1879. Guzmán Blanco had to return to the country and take the reins of government again. On this occasion, he designated the bolivar as the national currency, and declared Gloria al Bravo Pueblo as the national anthem , in addition to continuing with the political-economic measures that had been successful. After five years the command passed to Joaquín Crespo , but the effects of the introduction of positivismand the growing opposition of the student sector that gained strength, for which Crespo closed the University, merited a second return for Guzmán. He was chosen by Congress to preside between 1886 and 1888, but he retired in 1887, appointing Hermógenes López for the transition.
He was followed by Juan Pablo Rojas Paúl , who moved away from the centralist line maintained until now. He created the National Academy of History and faced anti-Zman riots. In 1890 Raimundo Andueza Palacio was elected . His attempt to extend his two-year term resulted in the Legalist Revolution of 1892 led by Joaquín Crespo, who gained power and established the four-year presidency and direct vote . In his leadership, public resources were embezzled [ citation needed ] and there was greater debt, although he remained popular among his soldiers. His candidate for successor, Ignacio Andrade, won the 1897 elections, but his rival José Manuel Hernández , alias el Mocho , accused fraud and rebelled in Queipa . Crespo perished in command of his troops, but the uprising was defeated. The final balance of the 19th century was one of economic recession, but of advances in culture, technology and urban planning. [ 50 ]
The military and former deputy Cipriano Castro accused Andrade of violating the 1893 constitution , for which he organized a restorative military uprising from Táchira together with Juan Vicente Gómez to overthrow him. Castro came to power in October. However, he ratified some ministers of the defeated government, including Andueza Palacio in the cabinet. In 1901, he was elected President by the National Constituent Assembly . Like his predecessors, due to his authoritarianism he fought seditions. The most outstanding of these was the Liberating Revolution, which culminated in the triumph of Castro in 1903, being the last of the great caudillista rebellions. His management followed anti-imperialism, refusing to cancel the debt with the United Kingdom and Germany , which caused the naval blockade that these countries imposed.
Castro fell ill in 1908, and left the country to undergo treatment. Days later, his vice president and friend Juan Vicente Gómez carried out a coup and prohibited his return to Venezuela. [ 51 ] Starting in 1909, Gómez would exercise his government from the city of Maracay , even moving his official residence, which was located in the city of Caracas . That is why with the Federal Constitution of 1909 , ministers, diplomats, and all government employees had to go weekly to Maracay to render accounts. Gómez was officially president from 1910 and later appointed for seven-year terms established by a new constitution., interspersed with puppet governments that acted as a front. He tried without mercy whoever questioned him. [ citation needed ] Many political prisoners served as forced laborers , building roads throughout the country. To resist student protests, he closed the Central University of Venezuela for ten years. He promulgated the first Labor Law , created banks for workers, began oil exploitation and canceled the foreign debt. The most remembered opposition movement of its time was carried out by university students in 1928, from where new political leaders would emerge. He also stopped a military coup and the invasion of General Román Delgado Chalbaud with the German steamship Falke in 1929. His greatest contribution was the pacification of the country by ending the caudillos and creating the Military Academy of Venezuela , as the base of a consolidated National Army. The economic dynamics marked by the beginning of oil exploitation in this period would be the cause of migrations of rural population to large urban centers since the 1930s . [ 52 ]
Gómez died in 1935, and General Eleazar López Contreras was appointed in charge of the Presidency until 1936, and then president for seven years. With him the transition to democracy begins: he decrees amnesty for political prisoners and restores freedom of the press . [ 53 ] That year, a large public demonstration in front of the Miraflores Palace demanded greater civil liberties, [ 54 ] to which López agreed in part with his February Program . [ 55 ] He reduced the presidential term to 5 years, and focused his policies on the creation of assistance programs forpublic health . [ 56 ] In addition, he carried out works of great importance such as the creation of the National Guard of Venezuela , the opening of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Sciences in 1938, and the creation of the Central Bank of Venezuela in 1939.
At the end of his term in 1941, Congress appointed Isaías Medina Angarita as president , a military man who promulgated a Hydrocarbons Law in 1943 that brought more monetary dividends to the country, limiting multinationals . During his tenure, female suffrage and the legalization of parties were decreed , the return of all exiles and the release of the remaining political prisoners were allowed. He created the first Venezuelan cedulation plan , activated an agrarian reform, supported the Allies of World War II , attempted the annexation of the Netherlands Antilles [ citation needed ] and signed theBoundary Treaty of 1941 between Colombia and Venezuela . Although it accelerated the path to democracy, adversaries such as Rómulo Betancourt and his Acción Democrática party still existed . From its bosom a military coup was forged in 1945 with the help of a military group led by Lieutenant Colonels Marcos Pérez Jiménez , Luis Llovera Páez and Carlos Delgado Chalbaud , who disagreed with the type of presidential election used and with many of Medina's measures.
Adeco triennium and military period
After the coup, a democratic government was organized although dominated by the Democratic Action party for the next three years. A new constitution was approved in 1947 that granted direct suffrage and female suffrage . In a new election, the famous writer Rómulo Gallegos turned out to be the first Venezuelan president elected in this way, taking office in 1948. Despite this, Gallegos did not complete his term after a coup d'état months later a Military Junta came to power. made up of the same rebels from three years ago, which repealed the constitution. [ 58 ]Of the triumvirs, Delgado Chalbaud was a candidate to preside over the country after the Junta called elections, but he was kidnapped and assassinated in 1950. After the incident, Germán Suárez Flamerich was appointed provisional president.
Pérez Jiménez remained as Minister of Defense until 1952, the date of the voting for a Constituent Assembly. During the day, seeing that the opposition URD obtained the majority of votes, the ruling Independent Electoral Front did not know the results and suspended the elections. Two days later, Pérez Jiménez was proclaimed president. His government promoted a constitution in 1953 , outlawed the opposition and restricted civil liberties. Its main law enforcement agency, the National Security Directorate , arrested and detained opponents in the concentration camp of Guasina , and executed them . Supported by the United StatesFor being part of the oil distribution network and for its anti-communism , his regime was also distinguished by a progress in visionary and technologically cutting-edge infrastructure without equal for the country. That, the special promotion of European immigration and the culmination of complex public works projects, were framed as the practice of a nationalist thought known as the New National Ideal . [ 59 ] Despite this, the antipathy generated by his repressive acts and his intentions to perpetuate himself in power, increased the discontent against him.
In contrast, the economic indicators of Venezuela during the government of Marcos Pérez Jiménez , showed a growing country, with low inflation and high levels of employment. During his tenure under the doctrine of the "New National Ideal" he carried out the transformation of the country, going from having rural populations to being one of the references of modernism in Latin America. During this period, the main communication routes were built, linking the west, center and east of the country, as well as industrial conglomerates and large monuments. Pérez Jiménez consolidated from 1952 to 1958 a good part of the infrastructure of Venezuela and its capital city. His vision of a modern Caracas turned the city into a dispersed and automobile metropolis, crossed by highways and characterized by modernist architecture. This architectural legacy today constitutes a residual topography of a Caracas that in the 1950s was seen as the modern capital of Latin America. [ 60 ]
The 1950s is considered an economic boom that was based on oil production. This went from 1.8 million barrels per day (priced at 2.14 dollars) to 2.77 million barrels per day (priced at 2.65 dollars), according to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mines. In turn, according to the United Nations Statistics Division in its 1964 Statistical Yearbook, the growth of the Venezuelan economy from 1952 to 1958 was the highest in the Western Hemisphere , above powers such as the United States and the United Kingdom . Moreover employment rose 21% between 1952 and 1956, while the highest inflation was 1.6% in 1954. [ 61 ]
In 1957 a plebiscite was organized to define his tenure for another five-year term in power. The official gazettes gave him the victory, although it was understood in all sectors of the country that it was a fraud. [ 62 ] This produced a split in the Armed Forces, giving rise to a failed rebellion on New Year's Day 1958. But the consequent political crisis destabilized the bases of the regime, concluding with his deposition by a civil-military movement on January 23, forcing him to flee to the Dominican Republic to move to Spain. Once the rebellion triumphed, a Government Civic-Military Junta was organized chaired by Rear Admiral Wolfgang Larrazábal. Months later, the Punto Fijo Pact was signed , which provided for the alternation in power of Acción Democrática , COPEI and URD , to guide the future politics of the country, [ 63 ] excluding other left parties such as the PCV . The election for President ended up opting for Rómulo Betancourt .
The new democratic era brought with it changes at the political and economic level. During his government, no more concessions were granted to multinational oil companies, the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation was established , and OPEC was created in 1960, at the initiative of Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonzo . An Agrarian Reform was finalized and a new constitution was enacted in 1961 .
The new order had its antagonists. Betancourt suffered an attack planned by the Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo , and the leftists excluded from the Pact started an armed insurgency by organizing themselves in the Armed Forces of National Liberation , sponsored by the Communist Party and Fidel Castro . In 1962 they attempted destabilization via the military, with failed revolts in Carúpano and Puerto Cabello . At the same time, Betancourt promoted an international doctrine in which he only recognized governments elected by popular vote.
In the 1963 elections, Raúl Leoni was elected . Its platform consisted of a coalition of Broad Base parties , integrating AD , URD and the FND . Although his government was one of concord and general understanding, he had to deal with continuous guerrilla attacks. Among these, the invasion of the beaches of Machurucuto in 1967, in which Venezuelan and Cuban guerrillas participated, stands out. Seeing that it yielded little fruit, most of the guerrillas abandoned the armed struggle that year. The Leoni government also stood out for public works and cultural development.
Rafael Caldera won the following elections . Before taking office in 1969, the Rupununi rebellion broke out in Guyana, representing an opportunity to annex the Essequibo , claimed by Venezuela. In this context, he signed the Protocol of Port of Spain in 1970. He agreed to a definitive truce with the guerrillas and guaranteed his reinstatement to political life, legalizing the PCV . In 1974 Carlos Andrés Pérez took office . In those years, foreign exchange income increased enormously as a result of the 1973 oil crisis , when the price of a barrel of oil dropped sharply from $ 3 to $ 12, reaching the meaning of theVenezuela Saudita , the title of a book by Sanín (Alfredo Tarre Murzi), although the name had been previously indicated by Rómulo Betancourt and Laureano Vallenilla Lanz, Jr. [ 65 ] In 1975 the iron industry was nationalized and the following year the oil industry, creating Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA). Both Caldera and Pérez partially broke with the Betancourt Doctrine.
In 1979, Luis Herrera Campins was sworn in as President. It inaugurated multiple cultural and sports facilities. Although oil revenues continued to rise, indebtedness in international finance could not be prevented, forcing adherence to IMF advice . In 1983 the bolivar was devalued on Black Friday , unleashing a severe economic crisis. In the government of Jaime Lusinchi , little would be done to counter it. Corruption increased and economic policy maintained the rentier line. On the other hand, in 1987 the Corvette Caldas incident generated one of the greatest moments of international tension with Colombia., due to the dispute for sovereignty over the Gulf of Venezuela between both nations.
Carlos Andrés Pérez was elected again in 1988 and during his tenure he sought to solve the recession by adopting measures that originated large social protests, the largest being the Caracazo in 1989. That same year the first direct elections of regional governors and mayors took place . Subsequently, there were two coup attempts in February and in November 1992 led by Hugo Chávez and Pérez was finally removed by Congress in 1993 . Octavio Lepage was provisional President for a few days, until the historian and parliamentarianRamón José Velázquez was appointed as interim.
Caldera came to power for the second time in 1994, having to handle the severe banking crisis that occurred that year. The collapse and intervention of a dozen banks culminated in capital flight , causing the bankruptcy of companies. To curb the crisis, it initiated an economic privatization program called Agenda Venezuela , but the serious economic situation would continue with the decline of the political parties that had been active since the mid-20th century.
The Bolivarian Revolution is the name given in Venezuela, by Hugo Chávez and his supporters, to the ideological and social project that began in 1998, with the election of Chávez as president of the country. [ 14 ]
According to its supporters, the revolution is based on the ideas of Simón Bolívar , [ 14 ] on the doctrines of Simón Rodríguez , who proposed that Latin America invent its own political system, and General Ezequiel Zamora "Tierras y Hombres Libres" and "Horror to the Oligarchy, "who defended land tenure for the peasants who worked it. Aims to boost patriotism hispanoamericano [ 66 ] [ 67 ] and reach a new socialism. One of its first measures was to approve by popular referendum a new constitution in 1999 that, among other things, changed the name of the country to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. [ 14 ]
Hugo Chávez won the 1998 presidential elections . It was supported by the partisan alliance «Polo Patriótico». He promoted a new constitution , which was approved by referendum in December 1999, and which brought with it the renewal of the Public Power by a National Constituent Assembly made up of 95% of the ruling party, which called into question the independence of the powers of the State in some sectors of Venezuelan society. [ 68 ] Through said referendum , the official name of the country changed from "Republic of Venezuela" to "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela", in homage to the Venezuelan liberatorSimon Bolivar .
In 2001, Chávez promulgated 49 laws on land administration, thanks to the authorization of the National Assembly , within the framework of his platform called the Bolivarian Revolution , generating conflicts with the opposition . This led to a national strike called by the Venezuelan Workers' Confederation (CTV) and by the Chamber of Entrepreneurs ( Fedecámaras ).
In 2002, a large number of protests began against the 49 laws. That year, after a massive demonstration in Caracas, on April 11, 2002, what is known as the 2002 Coup d'état took place . Faced with an alleged resignation and arrest of Chávez, Pedro Carmona , leader of Fedecámaras , proclaimed himself President with the support of the CTV and several opposition political parties. [ 69 ] According to an investigation carried out by Izquierda Unida , the journalist and advisor José Manuel Fernández says that "Powerful media, in Venezuela and abroad, directly and indirectly supported the coup." [ 70 ] [71 ] [ 72 ] The first action of government, Carmona disintegrated all constituted powers and established a de facto government. That same night Chávez was reinstated, after being rescued in a commando action on the island where he had been imprisoned. The opposition then organized a general strike in December 2002requesting the resignation of Chávez, joining this many workers from Petróleos de Venezuela , causing great economic losses for the country. [ 73 ] A recall referendum was then requested, finally held in 2004 and in it, Chávez was victorious.
Chávez's administration maintained a leftist line that sought to lead the country towards what he called Socialism of the 21st century . He created aid and social development programs - Bolivarian Missions -. He expressed distaste for the political-economic imperialism that, in his words, was managed by the United States government . In turn, it strengthened relations with former rivals of the United States, such as Russia , China, and Vietnam , or ideological rivals, such as Cuba , Iran , Belarus, and Syria .
In 2005, the Chavista parties gained control of almost all the country's governorships and the National Assembly , elections to which the opposition did not attend, alleging a "lack of guarantees." [ 74 ] The next presidential elections were held in December 2006, in which Chávez was reelected against Manuel Rosales , his direct opponent. He later announced that he would promote his political project through reforms to the Constitution , including control of the Armed Forces, new economic controls and indefinite reelection. In this process, the concession for an open signal to the RCTV television channel was not renewed., a measure that generated rejection in part of the population and that led to the activation of the Venezuelan student movement . In December 2007, a referendum was held on these proposals, which were finally rejected by the electorate, [ 75 ] keeping the Constitution in its 1999 version.
In November 2008, regional elections were held , in which the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela won 17 of the 22 disputed governorships. The opposition, for its part, obtained the governorship of five of the eight most populous states in Venezuela. In February 2009, a new referendum was held on an amendment proposal put forward by Hugo Chávez that would allow the limits to be lifted on the re-election of all popularly elected positions, including the President of the Republic, which was approved by the electorate. [ 76 ]
It is estimated that during his government the public debt multiplied, most of the debt is supported by Sovereign bonds and PDVSA bonds , other debts to agreements with countries such as China and Russia and a third group is due to pending payments for expropriations of transnational companies , which resulted in hyperinflation since 2017 . [ 77 ] [ 78 ]
Maduro and the Venezuelan crisis
In the presidential elections in Venezuela for the period 2013-2019 , President Chavez was re - elected for a third consecutive term, [ 79 ] but because died in March 2013 from complications of cancer of the colon , [ 80 ] the April 14, 2013, a new election was held in which the then Vice President Nicolás Maduro obtained a narrow victory at the national level. [ 81 ]Giving continuity to the Bolivarian Revolution. In these elections there were 14,988,563 valid votes, of which Maduro obtained 7,587,532 (50.61%), and Henrique Capriles Radonski 7,363,264 (49.1%). The political unrest of 2013 by the results of the presidential election triggered in demonstrations in Venezuela in 2014 , [ 82 ] [ 83 ] [ 84 ] I coupled with the economic crisis , sustained increase crime rates nationwide and reports of corruption in public bodies. [ 85 ] 
The 2015 parliamentary elections , which were held on December 6, 2015, resulted in the victory of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), the main opposition movement to the government of President Nicolás Maduro, with 56.3% of the votes and 112 of the 167 deputies of the National Assembly (including 3 deputies for the Indigenous Representation to the National Assembly), corresponding to a qualified majority . [ 90 ] [ 91 ] However, since its installation on January 5, 2016, most of the laws passed by the new National Assembly were declared unconstitutional by theSupreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and only one law came into force. [ 92 ] [ 93 ] [ 94 ] In a sequence of several statements since August 1, 2016 the Supreme Court declared in contempt of the Assembly and null and void all acts not divest three deputies of the Amazonas state , whose election is under precautionary suspension for alleged irregularities. The dismissal of January 9, 2017 was declared invalid by the Supreme Court. [ 94 ] [ 95 ] [ 96 ] [ 97] Arguing contempt, the Supreme Court took several competitions that according to the Constitution are the National Assembly, as the approval and extension of the state of emergency, [ 97 ] [ 98 ] [ 99 ] control of the budget [ 97 ] [ 99 ] [ 100 ] and the right to receive government accounts. [ 97 ] [ 101 ]In ruling 156 of March 29, 2017, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court warned in a general way "that as long as the situation of contempt persists ... the powers of the National Assembly will be exercised directly" by it. [ 102 ] [ 103 ] Following an intervention by the Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz spoke of "several violations of the constitutional order", the Supreme Court in a ruling on April 1, 2017 reversed its decision to assume all the functions of the Parliament. [ 104 ] [ 105 ]
At the request of 20 member countries, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) in a session on April 3, 2017 considered "the recent events in Venezuela" and urged "the Government of Venezuela to act to guarantee separation and independence constitutional powers and restore the full authority of the National Assembly. [ 106 ] The session, in which only 21 members of the OAS were present, is considered illegal by the governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. [ 107 ] [ 108 ]On April 26, 2017, the Permanent Council of the OAS with a majority of 19 votes agreed to convene a meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to consider the situation in Venezuela. [ 109 ] The Maduro government maintains that the approved convocation of foreign ministers violates the OAS Charter and initiated the official process of Venezuela's withdrawal from the OAS. [ 110 ] [ 111 ]
In 2019, the presidential crisis in Venezuela erupted around the legitimacy of who holds the presidency of the country, after on January 10, 2019, the National Assembly of Venezuela declared that Nicolás Maduro was usurping the position of president and Juan Guaidó -in quality of president of the National Assembly - will be sworn in as president in charge of the country. [ 112 ]After assuming the interim presidency, Guaidó proposed three central objectives for his political strategy: the end of the usurpation of the government of Nicolás Maduro, the establishment of a transitional government promoted by the National Assembly and the holding of free and transparent elections. [ 113 ] Guaidó was recognized by more than fifty countries as president in charge of Venezuela, including the Lima Group , with the exception of Mexico , most countries of the European Union , the European Parliament , the United States , Australia , Japan and Israel , among others.[ 114 ] [ 115 ] [ 116 ] [ 117 ] [ 118 ] [ 119 ] In addition, seven countries recognize the legitimacy of the National Assembly. On the other hand, twenty countries recognize Maduro, including someALBAcountries suchasCubaandNicaragua, as well as allied countries such asChina,TurkeyandRussia. [ 120 ] [ 121 ]While seventeen countries have declared themselves neutral to this crisis, along with the United Nations and the Vatican .
government and politics
The current Constitution of Venezuela, approved in a constitutional referendum on December 15, 1999 and promulgated five days later, establishes that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela constitutes a social and democratic State of Law and justice that "advocates as superior values of its legal system and its action, life , freedom , justice , equality , solidarity , democracy, social responsibility and, in general, the pre-eminence of thehuman rights , the ethics and political pluralism . " [ 122 ]
In the terms established in the Constitution of the Republic , Venezuela assumes the form of a decentralized federal State , and is governed by the principles of territorial integrity , cooperation , solidarity, concurrence and co- responsibility. Its purpose is to protect and promote the person and their humanity , guarantee the democratic exercise of the popular will , and the search for a general welfare state . To achieve these goals, the development of education and work are indicated as pathways . 
It further states that the form of government is a presidential republic headed by the President of the Republic works Head of State and Head of the National Executive at a time. The sovereignty which resides in the people , exercised in two ways: directly through the Constitution itself and the law , and indirectly, by suffrage , by the Public Power , whose components are subjected to such popular sovereigntyand they are due to her. All public entities are subject to the provisions of this Constitution. The President has the power to direct the actions of the Government . [ 124 ]
Division of powers
The national authorities of the State reside in Caracas, Capital District , since according to the National Constitution, it is the seat of the organs of the National Public Power. The civil service is the service of the citizens and is based on the principles of honesty , participation , speed, effectiveness , efficiency , transparency, accountability and responsibility, as required by Article 141 of the Constitution of the Republic. [ 125 ]
The National Public Power is divided into Legislative , Executive , Judicial , Citizen and Electoral ; Each of the branches of the Public Power has its own functions, but the bodies responsible for its exercise will collaborate with each other in carrying out the aims of the State. The National Public Power is made up of the organs and entities of the State with national competence that are framed within the Constitution of the Republic :
The legislative power is exercised by organ of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , which is a unicameral parliament that exercises the legislative function -Training, discussion and adoption of laws national, and legal codes of the country-, the function of political control over the National Public Administration and the Government, and the function of promoting the organization and citizen participation in matters within its competence. It is made up of 165 deputies elected by universal , direct and secret suffragein each federal entity. The term of the legislative mandate is five years and they can be re-elected in accordance with Amendment No. 1 of the Constitution of the Republic .
Executive power is exercised by the President of the Republic , the Executive Vice President , the Ministers and other officials established by the Constitution of the Republic and the law. The President of the Republic is elected by direct, secret and universal suffrage for a mandate that lasts 6 years, having the possibility of being reelected for new periods. [ n 9 ] He is the Head of State , Head of the National Executive Power , Commander-in-Chief of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces , and directs the foreign relations of the Republic. TheExecutive Vice President is a direct and immediate collaborator of the President. Coordinates the relations of the National Executive with the National Assembly, presides over the Federal Council of Government and makes up for the temporary absences of the President of the Republic. The Ministers are direct bodies of the President, and meeting with him and the Vice President, they make up the Council of Ministers . The Attorney General of the Republic attends, with the right to speak, the meetings of the Council of Ministers. Additionally, the President may summon the Council of State, being a superior body of consultation of the Government and the National Public Administration to recommend policies of national interest in matters of special importance.
The judicial power is exercised by the organ of the Supreme Court of Justice and the other courts determined by law. These, together with the Public Ministry , the Public Defense , the criminal investigation bodies, the auxiliaries and justice officials, the penitentiary system, the alternative means of justice, the citizens who participate in the administration of justice in accordance with the law and the lawyers authorized for the exercise, are part of the Justice System .
The Citizen Power is exercised by the body of the Republican Moral Council , made up of the Public Ministry , the Comptroller General of the Republic , and the Office of the Ombudsman . Any of the highest authorities of the bodies that make up this Power may be elected as President of the Republican Moral Council for periods of one year, re-eligible. Among its functions are to prevent, investigate and punish acts that violate public ethics and administrative morals, ensure the proper use of public assets and pre-select candidates for magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice .
The Electoral Power is exercised by a body of the National Electoral Council , which has as subordinate bodies: the National Electoral Board, the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission and the Political Participation and Financing Commission. Its objective is to regulate and manage electoral processes as well as the application of the personalization of suffrage and proportional representation. The CNE maintains, organizes, directs and supervises the Civil and Electoral Registry . The 1999 Constitution incorporates the figure of the recall referendum for all popularly elected positions, which can be submitted to a new election in the middle of the term, as a novel way of allowing a political decision by the citizens on the elected officials.
The organization that can properly be called the first Venezuelan political party is the Liberal Party , created by Tomás Lander and Antonio Leocadio Guzmán in 1840. Arising as a response to the ruling Conservative Party , both would compete for power throughout the 19th century . From these derivative parties would emerge, later dissolved by the Gomez dictatorship. In the subsequent democratic stage, some of the most important parties have emerged on the national scene, such as Unión Republicana Democrática (URD, f. 1945), the People's Electoral Movement (MEP, f. 1967), La Causa R (f. 1971 ), among others.
In the current political life of the country, those that take on special relevance are the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which is the ruling party; Popular Will (VP) at the initiative of Leopoldo López in 2009; Vente Venezuela (VV), founded by María Corina Machado in 2012; Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) formed as a national party in 2007 and the first party of the opposition coalition; Primero Justicia (PJ), national since 2003; Democratic Action (AD), of social democratic tendency , founded in 1941 by Rómulo Gallegos and Rómulo Betancourt ; theCommittee for the Independent Political Electoral Organization (COPEI), of a social-Christian nature , founded in 1946 by Rafael Caldera ; the Movement to Socialism (MAS), also a social democrat, created in 1971; and the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV), founded in 1931 and legalized in 1945.
Some important parties at the regional level are Proyecto Carabobo (founded in 1997 with Proyecto Venezuela ), Patria Para Todos (PPT), and Por la Democracia Social (Podemos), founded in 2003 by Ismael García .
Venezuelan foreign policy has varied according to the nature of its government. Given that in its early years as an independent nation the country suffered a long period of internal turbulence, it was unable to outline a concrete international policy, but focused on the demarcation of boundaries. At the beginning of the 20th century , they had difficult relations with the European powers and with the United States due to foreign debt, and it remained neutral during World War II until it took the side of the Allies . In the 1950s, Venezuela maintained close ties with dictatorships that existed at the time in Ibero-America , and with the United States.. The reestablishment of the democratic system of government in 1958 generates significant changes in the foreign policy of Venezuela, being framed within the Constitution of 1961 and being specified in three basic guidelines: democracy, oil and an active international presence. Under the Betancourt Doctrine , it only recognized democratic governments. In the 1980s, together with other countries, he joined the Contadora Group to seek peace in the armed conflicts in Central America .
According to Article 153 of the Constitution, Venezuela intends to promote Latin American and Caribbean integration , favoring relations with Latin America . In recent times, the Venezuelan Government has approached governments with a clear leftist and anti-imperialist line , at the same time that mishaps and distancing have been raised in diplomatic relations with Colombia , Mexico and the United States , although without significantly affecting the commercial relations that prevail. Venezuela has occupied a seat in the UN Security Councilon four occasions, in the periods from 1962 to 1963, from 1977 to 1978, from 1986 to 1987, from 1992 to 1993 and from 2015 to 2016. [ 126 ] In 2006 she ran without being elected.
Venezuela has a long history of territorial claims with Guyana and Colombia . The eastern limits of the country with Guyana, drawn by the Paris Award of 1899 (declared null and void by Venezuela), go from Mount Roraima to Punta Playa in the Atlantic Ocean . However, Venezuela claims the territory known as Guayana Esequiba , which would span from the border between the two countries to the Essequibo River , which today are regions 1 ( Barima-Waini ), 2 ( Cuyuni-Mazaruni ), 7 ( Pomeroon-Supenaam ), 8 ( Potaro-Siparuni ), 10 (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo ) and the western part of the 5th ( Essequibo Islands-West Demerara ), based on the Geneva Agreement of 1966 , signed with the United Kingdom . [ 127 ]
It also maintains a dispute with Colombia over the sovereignty of the Gulf of Venezuela . The dispute, which dates back to the time of the dissolution of Gran Colombia , is believed to be motivated by the presence of hydrocarbons in the gulf, and which in turn led to the outbreak of the Crisis de la Corbeta Caldas in 1987. [ 8 ] The problem was addressed again in 2007, when it was agreed to continue negotiations between both parties. [ 128 ]
National defense and security
The defense of Venezuela is in charge of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces , [ 129 ] which, according to Article 328 of the National Constitution, is an entity organized by the State for the service of the Nation, and which has the duty to monitor the independence and sovereignty of the geographic space of the country, the integrity of the territory, and to participate in its development, in addition to remaining apolitical .
The Venezuelan military institution as a whole has its roots in the Liberation Army commanded by Simón Bolívar and several republican leaders during the War of Independence , but it was not possible to speak of a permanent and professional army until 1910, when Juan Vicente Gómez put the Academy into operation. Military of Venezuela , together with the establishment of new institutions for its activity, National Aviation and a new Military Code , in order to eliminate the various regional caudillisms and preserve peace in the country.
Currently, the FANB groups five essential components, which are:
- Bolivarian Army : institutionalized at the dawn of the 20th century, which is in charge of land operations and protection of territorial borders . His day is celebrated on June 24, in commemoration of the Battle of Carabobo . [ 130 ]
- Bolivarian Navy : existing since 1811, it is in charge of naval defense and the preservation of sovereignty over the aquatic spaces of Venezuela. His day is July 24, in commemoration of the naval battle of Lake Maracaibo . [ 131 ]
- Bolivarian Military Aviation : created in 1920 and independent since 1946, which aims to protect the airspace of Venezuela. Its anniversary was celebrated on December 10, [ 132 ] but by decree of President Hugo Chávez, since 2010 it has been celebrated on November 27, in commemoration of the second coup attempt in 1992 . [ 133 ]
- Bolivarian National Guard : founded in 1937 by Eleazar López Contreras , previously known as the Armed Forces of Cooperation. Its ultimate purpose is to conduct the operations required for the maintenance of the internal order of the country, cooperate in the development of the military operations required to ensure the defense of the Nation, exercise the activities of administrative police and criminal investigation that are attributed by the laws, as well as actively participate in the national development, in the territory and other geographical spaces of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Their anniversary is August 4. [ 134 ]
- Bolivarian Militia : founded in 2005 , it functions as a reserve and celebrates its day on April 13 of each year. [ 135 ]
The military service is mandatory , though not forced and recruitment for every man or woman between 18 and 60 years and must be fulfilled for a period of one year. [ 136 ] The FANB also has its own Military Educational System , where its Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela (UMBV) has seven affiliated academies: Military Academy of the Bolivarian Army (AMEB), Military Academy of the Bolivarian Navy (AMARB), Academia Militar de la Aviación Bolivariana (AMAB), Military Academy of the Bolivarian National Guard (AMGNB), Military Academy of Troop Officers C / J Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías(AMHCH), Bolivarian Military Technical Academy (ATMB) and Military Academy of Medicine (AMMED). This institution graduates command officers , troops, technicians and military surgeons.
The country's police forces are organized at the national, state and municipal levels, being administered by their respective governments and mayors as a result of decentralization . However, the National Executive created in 2009 the Bolivarian National Police (PNB), an additional body that is the main security force in the country. The main body of investigations in the country is the Corps of Scientific, Criminal and Criminal Investigations (CICPC), in charge of investigating crimes and crimes throughout the country. Likewise, the security forces include the main intelligence service , the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service.(SEBIN) and the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM).
According to the Democracy Index of The Economist in 2017, the country was included in the list as an "authoritarian regime", which reveals how human rights have eroded in the country. [ 137 ] Some human rights organizations have expressed concern about attacks against journalists, harassment of human rights defenders, and poor conditions in prisons. [ 138 ] [ 139 ] According to the report of Human Rights Watchof 2017, under the leadership of President Hugo Chávez and now President Nicolás Maduro, the accumulation of power in the executive branch and the erosion of human rights guarantees have allowed the government to intimidate, persecute, torture and even criminally prosecute and extrajudicially shoot to his political opponents. [ 140 ]
In 2019 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported: "Security agents, notably the members of SEBIN , DGCIM and GNB, resorted to such measures to intimidate and punish detainees, as well as to extract confessions and information. The most serious cases generally took place at SEBIN, DGCIM and army premises throughout the country (...) The cases documented by OHCHR, together with the information collected, indicate that ill-treatment and torture inflicted on persons deprived of liberty for having expressed certain political opinions or for exercising their human rights are not isolated incidents. On the contrary, it has been documented that the same forms of mistreatment have been committed by agents of different security units throughout the country, in different detention centers and with the alleged knowledge of superior officers, which clearly demonstrates the existence of a pattern of conduct ”.
Also in September 2020, OHCHR this time reported that the Government, state agents and the groups that worked with them had committed flagrant violations of the human rights of men and women in Venezuela. It identified highly coordinated patterns of violations and crimes in accordance with State policies and part of a generalized and systematic course of conduct, thus constituting crimes against humanity . [ 142 ]
|CESCR||CCPR [ 145 ]||CERD [ 146 ]||CED||CEDAW [ 148 ]||CAT||CRC||MWC||EARL [ 152 ]|
|Signed and ratified, signed, but not ratified, neither signed nor ratified, No information, has agreed to sign and ratify the body in question, but also recognizes the competence to receive and process individual communications from the competent bodies.|
Venezuelan territory is divided into 23 federal states , a Capital District [ 154 ] - which includes the city of Caracas - and the Federal Dependencies - made up of more than 311 islands , islets and keys, most of which are uninhabited. [ n 10 ] The states in turn are subdivided into Municipalities .
The states are autonomous and politically equal, organizing their administration and their Public Powers through a State Constitution , issued by the Legislative Council in accordance with the laws of the Federation. They maintain all power not explicitly delegated to the national and municipal government, as read in Article 164 of the Constitution .
|Federal entities of Venezuela|
The State Public Power is divided into four branches. The Legislative Power of the states falls on the unicameral Legislative Council, whose deputies are elected by popular , direct and secret vote every four years, being able to be re-elected, under a system of proportional representation of the state population and its municipalities, with a minimum 7 and a maximum of 15. The states can enact laws on regional issues, but the main civil, commercial, criminal, labor, social security and mining laws are the responsibility of the National Assembly. The Executive Power of the states is exercised by a Governor accompanied by theState Secretaries . The Governor is also elected by direct and secret suffrage for a period of four years and with the possibility of immediate reelection, being in charge of the state administration. The states have other institutions such as the State Comptroller's Offices and the Attorney General's Offices. The Judicial Power is represented by the Supreme Court of the Republic, but divided into judicial circuits in each state coordinated by the Executive Directorate of the Regional Magistracy. The Electoral Power is in each state through the Electoral Offices dependent on the CNE. [ 155 ]
State fiscal control is exercised by an organ of a Comptroller's Office in each State, which supervises the income, expenses and state assets, without prejudice to the scope of the functions of the Comptroller General of the Republic. State planning, for its part, is exercised by the body of a Council for Planning and Coordination of Public Policies in each State, chaired by the Governor and made up of the Mayors of the Municipalities, the state directors of the ministries, and a representation of regional deputies elected to the National Assembly, legislators from the State Legislative Council, municipal councilors and organized communities, including indigenous communities where they exist.
The Municipal Public Power is exercised in each of the 335 municipalities through legislative, judicial and executive functions of fiscal control and planning, but essentially not much different from the estadal model. The Municipal Municipal Executive is exercised by the body of a Mayor elected for a period of four years by a simple majority of the people who vote and can be re-elected. The Legislative Power delegates its authority to Municipal Councils made up of a number not greater than thirteen nor less than five councilors elected for a period of four years, and may be re-elected, who proportionally represent the population of the Municipality. The Judicial Branch It is represented in the Municipal Judicial Headquarters, and the Citizen Power exists in an autonomous Municipal Comptroller's Office, which exercises the function of fiscal control of the income, expenses and assets of the municipality.
Municipal planning is carried out by the body of a Local Public Planning Council in each municipality, in charge of designing the Municipal Development Plan and other plans, and being chaired by the Mayor and made up of councilors, the presidents of the community parish boards. and representatives of neighborhood organizations and others of organized society, in accordance with the provisions established by law.
The Powers of the Venezuelan Federation reside in the Capital District as a federal territory, the Government of the entity is headed by a Head of Government, appointed by the President of the Republic on behalf of the Federation, and depends legislatively on the Republic through the National Assembly since 2009.
The 8 of January of 1980 an arrangement was created by political-administrative regions by Decree 478 on Regionalization and Community participation in regional development, which brings together the states according to their social, traditional features economic and, with the aim of encourage development. The decree lists nine political-administrative regions, namely:
|The Andes||Mérida , Táchira , Trujillo , Barinas and the Páez municipality of Apure state|
|Capital||Miranda , La Guaira , Capital District|
|Central||Aragua , Carabobo and Cojedes|
|Western Center||Falcón , Lara , Yaracuy and Portuguesa|
|Guyana||Bolivar State , Amazonas , Delta Amacuro|
|Insular||Nueva Esparta and the Federal Dependencies|
|The plains||Apure (without the Páez municipality) and Guárico|
|Nor-Oriental||Anzoátegui , Monagas and Sucre|
Context and conditions
The geographical location of Venezuela corresponds to the northern hemisphere , and its southern limit is very close to the line of the Earth's equator . Its continental territory is made up of a compact land mass that extends equally from east to west and north to south. Its insular territory includes a set of archipelagos, islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea . Its geography gives it a great diversity of natural resources, mainly energy and minerals , as well as species and ecosystems.
The country is located on the northern coast of South America , and occupies most of the South American Caribbean . To the north it has its seafront on the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Caribbean Sea it has an extensive coastline of 2,718 km in length, while in the Atlantic Ocean it is 556 km .
Its continental platform is located to the north and northeast of the country; it covers approximately 18% of the total continental surface and has a maritime presence of 860,000 km². In general, it comprises a wide coastal strip of low relief, between 0 and 100 meters above sea level . It is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera de la Costa . It features three major widened depressions: Lake Maracaibo to the west, the Unare Depression in the extreme central northeast, and the Orinoco delta region to the east, lowland and boggy. In the coastal area are the most important ports in the country: La Guaira , Maracaibo ,Puerto Cabello and Puerto La Cruz .
These vast territories are expressed in a compact continental surface, the maximum distance of which is 1,493 km in an east-west direction, and 1,271 km in a north-south direction, which contributes to facilitating integration and internal cohesion. It is articulated with wide coastlines, which reach in the Caribbean Sea a seafront of 2,183 km in length, from Castilletes to the promontory of Paria. It is irregular in shape and is made up of numerous gulfs and bays, among which are the gulfs of Venezuela , Triste , Paria and Cariaco and more than 314 islands, cays and islets of Venezuelan sovereignty that reach the island of Aves from the north . [ 156]
Being in the intertropical zone, Venezuela has a warm and rainy climate in general, but due to the orography, the winds, the influence of the sea and the orientation of the mountain ranges, there are climatic differences. Latitude has a certain importance in the seasonality and amount of rainfall, but its role is much less in terms of the effect it has on temperatures. The altitude, however, constitutes a factor that drastically changes the climate, especially with regard to temperature, reaching very different values depending on the disposition of the relief in what is known as thermal, biotic or ecological floors.
Venezuela borders thirteen political units in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, although not all of them have defined limits of marine and underwater areas. It borders demarcations resolved with the United States of America ( Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands EE. UU. ) [ N 11 ] [ 157 ] the Kingdom of the Netherlands ( Aruba , Curacao and Dutch Caribbean ), [ n 12 ] [ 158 ] the Dominican Republic , [n 13 ] [ 159 ] France ( Guadeloupe and Martinique ) [ n 14 ] [ 160 ] and Trinidad and Tobago . [ N 15 ] [ 161 ] It remainsdelineate Colombia (430 km), Saint Kitts and Nevis (80 km), the United Kingdom ( Montserrat ) (45 km), Dominica (80 km), Saint Lucia (10 km ), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines(90 km), Granada (300 km) and Guyana (1150 km).
It has land borders with three countries, to the south with Brazil with 2,199 km; to the east with Guyana with 743 km that may be subject to change; [ n 16 ] and to the west with Colombia with a length of 2219 km. [ 10 ]
The geographical diversity of the national territory is evident when it is divided into natural regions . Specifically, in Venezuela up to eight regions can be differentiated, namely: The Andes , Depression of Lake Maracaibo , Insular , Cordillera de la Costa , Cordillera Oriental , the Delta of the Orinoco River , Los Llanos , Guayana , and the Lara-Falcón Formation .
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Relief and geology
The Venezuelan territory encompasses three large geographical units that follow one another from west to east: the northern Andean and coastal mountain ranges to the north and west, the Venezuelan plains that constitute extensive sedimentary plains that are almost entirely part of the Orinoco basin to the north of this river, and the massifs and plateaus of very old formation in Venezuelan Guiana , south of the Orinoco river . Its configuration took place in the process of formation of the South American subcontinent , when it formed a supercontinent with Africa , until its separation in the Paleozoic . Very few countries in the world,[ citation required ] except for some very long ones, [ which one? ] have this same variety of reliefs in their territory.
| Ten highest peaks of Venezuela [ 162 ] [ 163 ] |
|Name||Altitude ( masl )|
|Bolivar Peak||4 978|
|Humboldt Peak||4 940|
|La Concha Peak||4 922|
|Pico Bonpland||4 883|
|Mirror Peak||4 765|
|Piedras Blancas Peak||4 748|
|The Lion Peak||4 740|
|El Toro Peak||4 727|
|Sugar Loaf Peak||4 643|
|Mifés Peak||4 630|
In Venezuela, the northern mountainous formations bifurcate into two Andean chains, erected during the Tertiary Era , which begin to individualize in the north of the eastern Colombian mountain range . The western chain is made up of the Sierra de Perijá , on the border with Colombia, which rises to 3,750 m. Chain forms the eastern cordillera of Merida , culminating in the Pico Bolivar at 4978 meters, [ n 17 ] [ 163 ] the highest elevation of the country. These two mountain ranges surround the depression of Lake Maracaibo —13,280 km², the largest inSouth America -, [ 164 ] which occupies a wide depression open to the Gulf of Venezuela and which has large reserves of hydrocarbons in the subsoil. Between Lake Maracaibo, the Mérida mountain range and the Caribbean Sea rise the mountains and hollows of the Coriano System , formed by three orographic alignments oriented from southwest to northwest.
Towards the east, the mountainous region extends, bordering the Caribbean coast through the Caribbean mountain range , made up of the Costa mountain range and the Interior mountain range , both oriented parallel in an east-west direction, and between which is the depression of the lake of Valencia . They are separated by other highly populated longitudinal valleys in which most of the country's economic activity is concentrated. The dunes also appear , beginning in the city of Coro and extending north towards the Paraguaná peninsula , including the Isthmus of the Médanos , and the Venezuelan portion of theGuajira peninsula . Its landscape is desert-like , with dunes that move continuously due to the action of the trade winds that blow from east to west. Finally, to the east of this mountain range rises the Cumaná Massif , which forms the Araya and Paria peninsulas , between the Cariaco and Paria gulfs . Thus, we have that the west and north of the Venezuelan coast are dominated by successive mountain ranges, which, although they are segregated by fertile valleys and hollows, do not lose their structural continuity.
The Llanos del Orinoco occupy the central depression that extends between the Andean mountains and the Orinoco valley, which borders the north of the Guiana Massif. It constitutes an immense plain that is characterized by its horizontality, covered by the sea in past times - origin of hydrocarbon deposits - and currently covered by powerful layers of fluvial sediments drained by the Orinoco , which connects to the Amazon to the south. and extends to the Atlantic in the east, through a large river deltaof more than 40,000 square kilometers. They are different from others of alluvial formation, due to their geological constitution and their general appearance, distinguishing in them the so-called High or Western Plains, well drained and covered with vegetation; the Low or Central Plains, which can be flooded in the rainy season, and the Eastern Plains or Las Mesas, characterized by the tabular relief in the form of plateaus , which descends in the east from the Cumaná Massif to the Orinoco, isolating at the eastern end the plains of the Monagas state .
Finally, to the southeast of the Orinoco, the Guiana Shield rises , whose relief of elevated blocks has been subject to fluvial erosion , until it has become a peneplain to the north and southwest. Towards the southeast, instead, erosion has excavated deep valleys, creating a secondary relief of small mountain ranges and isolated highlands called tepuis . The formation ascends in stages until it forms long mountain ranges (Tapirapecó, Parima and Pacaraima mountains) on the border with Brazil . The Roraima Formation , in the southeast of the country, is precisely responsible for the presence of the tepuis, among which the Meseta delAuyantepuy . From the western slopes of the Auyantepuy falls the famous Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, with free fall over the Churún river valley . However, the most outstanding summit of Venezuelan Guiana is the Tepuy Roraima .
The Guiana Shield area is the oldest, and together with the Brazilian Shield they make up one of the oldest continental formations and blocks on the planet, with more than 3.5 billion years. Its extension in Venezuela is about 430,000 km² , and this is equivalent to almost half of the national territory. It is found deep below the sedimentary layer that constitutes the Venezuelan plains, extending towards Guyana, Brazil , Suriname and French Guiana . At its base are the oldest rocks on the planet, [ citation needed ] both igneous like the granite - likemetamorphic - schist , quartzite and gneiss -. To the northeast, on the other hand, there is a relief of hills, mountain ranges and plateaus, where the Imataca mountain range and the Nuria plateau stand out . Here the soil is made up of ferruginous quartzites or itabirites - rocks with a high iron content -, which explains the existence of abundant reserves of this mineral in the area.
|Main river basins|
|Name||Area ( km² )|
|Orinoco Basin||770 000|
|Caribbean Sea||80 000|
|Maracaibo lake||74 000|
|Cuyuní River||40 000|
|Amazon Basin ( Rio Negro )||11 900|
|Source: [ 165 ]|
Most of the river waters of Venezuela drain on the Atlantic slope. The largest basin in this area is the extensive Orinoco basin whose surface area, close to one million km², is greater than that of all of Venezuela, although it has a 65% presence in the country. The size of this basin - similar to that of the Danube - makes it the third largest in South America , and it gives rise to a flow of about 33 thousand m³ / s , making the Orinoco the third largest in the world, [ 166 ] And also one of the most valuable from the point of view of renewable natural resources. The River or Brazo CasiquiareFor its part, it constitutes a unique case in the world, since it is a natural derivation of the Orinoco that, after about 500 km in length, connects it with the Negro R