Independence Year : 1811
Population : 24700000
Life Expectancy : 73.1
Capital : 3539
GNP : 95023.00
GNP Old : 88434.00
Local Name : Venezuela
Government Form : Federal Republic
Location : Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean
Terrain : Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains; Guiana Highlands in southeast
Climate : Varies from tropical to temperate, depending on elevation
Ethnic Group : Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Amerindian
Religions : Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Official Website : www.venezuela.gov.ve
Genral Information - Venezuela
Venezuela was one of the 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: 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.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)