Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Spanish)
Motto: Dios y Federación
("God and Federation")
Anthem: Gloria al Bravo Pueblo (Spanish)
("Glory to the Brave People")
Land controlled by Venezuela shown in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled land shown in light green.
and largest city
10°30′N 66°55′W / 10.500°N 66.917°W / 10.500; -66.917
Official languagesSpanish[b]
Recognized regional languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentFederal presidential republic under a centralized authoritarian state[3][4][5][6]
• President
Nicolás Maduro
Delcy Rodríguez
LegislatureNational Assembly
Independence from Spain
• Declared
5 July 1811
• from Gran Colombia
13 January 1830
• Recognized
29 March 1845
20 December 1999[7]
• Total
916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) (32nd)
• Water (%)
• 2023 estimate
30,518,260[8] (50th)
• Density
33.74/km2 (87.4/sq mi) (144st)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $211.926 billion[9] (81st)
• Per capita
Increase $7,985[9] (159th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $92.210 billion[9] (94th)
• Per capita
Increase $3,474[9] (145th)
Gini (2013)Negative increase 44.8[10]
HDI (2021)Decrease 0.691[11]
medium · 120th
CurrencyVenezuelan bolívar (official)
United States dollar (de-facto recognised, unofficial)
Time zoneUTC−4 (VET)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+58
ISO 3166 codeVE
  1. ^ The "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" has been the full official title since the adoption of the Constitution of 1999, when the state was renamed in honor of Simón Bolívar.
  2. ^ The Constitution also recognizes all indigenous languages spoken in the country.
  3. ^ Some important subgroups include those of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Amerindian, African, Arab and German descent.
  4. ^ Area totals include only Venezuelan-administered territory.
  5. ^ On 1 October 2021, a new bolivar was introduced, the Bolívar digital (ISO 4217 code VED) worth 1,000,000 VES.

Venezuela (/ˌvɛnəˈzwlə/ VEN-ə-ZWAY-lə; Latin American Spanish: [beneˈswela] ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela),[12] is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. Venezuela comprises an area of 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi), and its population was estimated at 29 million in 2022.[13] The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas.

The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. Venezuela is a presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District and federal dependencies covering Venezuela's offshore islands. Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America;[14][15] the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north and in the capital.

The territory of Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from Indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence from the Spanish and to form part of the first federal Republic of Colombia (Gran Colombia). It separated as a full sovereign country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional military dictators until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments, as an exception where most of the region was ruled by military dictatorships, and the period was characterized by economic prosperity. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to major political crises and widespread social unrest, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of a President for embezzlement of public funds charges in 1993. The collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 Venezuelan presidential election, the catalyst for the Bolivarian Revolution, which began with a 1999 Constituent Assembly, where a new Constitution of Venezuela was imposed. The government's populist social welfare policies were bolstered by soaring oil prices,[16] temporarily increasing social spending,[17] and reducing economic inequality and poverty in the early years of the regime.[18] However, poverty began to rapidly increase in the 2010s.[19][20] The 2013 Venezuelan presidential election was widely disputed leading to widespread protest, which triggered another nationwide crisis that continues to this day.[21] Venezuela has experienced democratic backsliding, shifting into an authoritarian state.[22] It ranks low in international measurements of freedom of the press and civil liberties and has high levels of perceived corruption.[23]

Venezuela is a developing country having the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Previously, the country was an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The excesses and poor policies of the incumbent government led to the collapse of Venezuela's entire economy.[24][25] The country struggles with record hyperinflation,[26][27] shortages of basic goods,[28] unemployment,[29] poverty,[30] disease, high child mortality, malnutrition, severe crime and corruption. These factors have precipitated the Venezuelan refugee crisis where more than seven million people have fled the country.[31] By 2017, Venezuela was declared to be in default regarding debt payments by credit rating agencies.[32][33] The crisis in Venezuela has contributed to a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation. Venezuela is a charter member of the United Nations (UN), Organization of American States (OAS), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Mercosur, Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) and Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI).

  1. ^ "Resultado Básico del XIV Censo Nacional de Población y Vivienda 2011 (Mayo 2014)" (PDF). p. 29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 August 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ "National Profiles".
  3. ^ Corrales, Javier (2020). "Authoritarian Survival: Why Maduro Hasn't Fallen". Journal of Democracy. Project Muse. 31 (3): 39–53. doi:10.1353/jod.2020.0044. ISSN 1086-3214. S2CID 226738491.
  4. ^ "The Path Toward Authoritarianism in Venezuela", Political Science, Oxford University Press, 30 October 2019, doi:10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0286, ISBN 978-0-19-975622-3
  5. ^ Corrales, J. (2022). Autocracy Rising: How Venezuela Transitioned to Authoritarianism. G - Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series. Brookings Institution Press. p. intro. ISBN 978-0-8157-3807-7.
  6. ^ "Battling Authoritarian Regimes in Venezuela and Beyond: A Conversation with Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo López". David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)'s Constitution of 1999 with Amendments through 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 21 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Venezuela". The World Factbook (2023 ed.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  9. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2023 Edition. (Venezuela)". International Monetary Fund. 10 October 2023. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  10. ^ "Income Gini coefficient". United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela" (PDF). Ministry of Education. 15 December 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  13. ^ "The World Factbook: Venezuela". Central Intelligence Agency. September 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  14. ^ "South America". Encarta. Archived from the original on 21 April 2007. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  15. ^ "Annex tables" (PDF). World Urbanization Prospects: The 1999 Revision. United Nations. Retrieved 13 March 2007.
  16. ^ "The Legacy of Hugo Chavez and a Failing Venezuela". Wharton Public Policy Initiative, University of Pennsylvania. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  17. ^ Smilde, David (14 September 2017). "Crime and Revolution in Venezuela". NACLA Report on the Americas. 49 (3): 303–308. doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1373956. ISSN 1071-4839. S2CID 158528940. Finally, it is important to realize that the reductions in poverty and inequality during the Chávez years were real, but somewhat superficial. While indicators of income and consumption showed clear progress, the harder-to-change characteristics of structural poverty and inequality, such as the quality of housing, neighborhoods, education, and employment, remained largely unchanged.
  18. ^  • Heritage 2002, pp. 618–621.
     • Voigt, Kevin (6 March 2013). Chavez leaves Venezuelan economy more equal, less stable. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
     • Beeton, Dan; Joe Sammut (6 December 2013). Venezuela Leads Region in Poverty Reduction in 2012, ECLAC Says Archived 20 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Center for Economic and Policy Research. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
     • Venezuela Overview. The World Bank. Accessed 17 November 2014. "Economic growth and the redistribution of resources associated with these missions have led to an important decline in moderate poverty, from 50% in 1998 to about 30% in 2012. Likewise, inequality has decreased, reducing the Gini Index from 0.49 in 1998 to 0.39 in 2012, which is among the lowest in the region."
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference UN was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Nagel, Juan Cristóbal (4 June 2014). "Poverty Shoots Up in Venezuela". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  21. ^ 남민우, 기 (2 May 2018). 화폐경제 무너졌는데…최저임금 인상에 목매는 베네수엘라 [The monetary economy collapsed... Venezuela clamors for minimum wage hike]. 朝鮮日報 (The Chosun Ilbo) (in Korean). Retrieved 22 May 2018 – via Venezuela's fall is considered to be mainly caused by the populist policy
  22. ^ Isidoro Losada, Ana María; Bitar Deeb, Rita (January 2022). "Introduction: Authoritarianism and Violence in Venezuela". Bulletin of Latin American Research. 41 (1): 102–104. doi:10.1111/blar.13316. eISSN 1470-9856. ISSN 0261-3050. S2CID 246773739.
  23. ^ "World Report 2022: Rights Trends in Venezuela". Human Rights Watch. 10 December 2021. Retrieved 19 January 2023.
  24. ^ "Fuel subsidies have contributed to Venezuela's economic crisis". 29 March 2016.
  25. ^ Scharfenberg, Ewald (1 February 2015). "Volver a ser pobre en Venezuela". El Pais. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  26. ^ Rosati, Andrew (9 October 2018). "Venezuela's 2018 Inflation to Hit 1.37 Million Percent, IMF Says". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  27. ^ "IMF sees Venezuela inflation at 10 million percent in 2019". Reuters. 9 October 2018 – via
  28. ^  • Gillespie, Patrick (12 April 2016). "Venezuela: the land of 500% inflation". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
     • Gillespie, Patrick (12 December 2016). "Venezuela shuts border with Colombia as cash crisis escalates". CNNMoney. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
     • Rosati, Andrew (11 January 2017). "Venezuela's Economy Was the Worst Performing of 2016, IMF Estimates". Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Chamber of Commerce: 80% of Venezuelans are in poverty". El Universal. 1 April 2016. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  30. ^ Herrero, Ana Vanessa; Malkin, Elisabeth (16 January 2017). "Venezuela Issues New Bank Notes Because of Hyperinflation". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela reaches 3 million". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  32. ^ Gillespie, Patrick (14 November 2017). "Venezuela just defaulted, moving deeper into crisis". CNNMoney. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Venezuela in 'selective default'". BBC News. 14 November 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.

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