Venezuela

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Venezuela is a Latin and Hispanic American country located at the north of South America. It is very famous for its production of petroleum, having one of the largest reserves on the planet and being one of the top suppliers to the United States.[1] Venezuela is also rich in natural resources and tourist industry.

The country has a long coastline in the Caribbean Sea to its north with several islands. It has sea border with many of the Leeward Antilles. The coast is very irregular being the Maracaibo Lake one of its most important features. The west is limited by Colombia from the Maracaibo Lake to the Amazon Forest. To the south Venezuela meets Brazil and at the east it has border with Guyana.

Venezuela was born as a colony of Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries being a part of the Vice royalty of New Granda with Colombia, Ecuador and Panama. At the beginning of the 19th century it fought its independence and formed the Republic of Gran Colombia until 1830, when it got its own autonomy as an independent republic.

Generalities

The capital of Venezuela is the Metropolitan District of Caracas, a urban conglomerate that has a population of 4.7 million.[2] The city is located at the north of the country, in a valley closed to the Caribbean Sea. Caracas is also the largest city of Venezuela.

The official and most spoken language is Spanish, but there are also several indigenous languages spoken by minorities and that are considered official by the Constitution in their territories of influence.

Government

Both the roles of head of state and head of government are held by the elected President of Venezuela, currently Nicolás Maduro. Under the Venezuelan Constitution, the President may be reelected once.

An elected National Assembly forms the legislative branch. Members serve five-year terms.

In 1999, the National Assembly created a new constitution that increased the presidential term to six years; Hugo Chávez was elected to an extended first term on 30 July 2000 under the terms of this constitution, and was subsequently reelected on 3 December 2006.

References

  1. Venezuela Energy, Energy Information Administration, Official Energy Information from the US, June 16, 2008. Link retrieved on July 29, 2008.
  2. Th. Brinkhoff: The Principal Agglomerations of the World, City Population, 2007-09-30. Link retrieved on July 31, 2008.