An Introduction to Venezuela
Population: 25,017,387 (July 2004 est.)
Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Ecuador). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Current concerns include: an embattled president, a divided military, drug-related conflicts along the Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.
Map of Venezuela (Location): 8 00 N, 66 00 W, Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana. For additional reports and educational information specific to Venezuela, refer to the Country Info menubar to the upper right.
República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
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