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Welcome To Venezuela
Country number
131
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An Introduction to Venezuela

Officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this country stretches from the Andes Mountains in the we't to the Amazon Basin rain forest in the south via extensive plains, Caribbean coastline and the Orinoco river delta in the east. Colonised by Spain in 1522, it declared independence in 1811 and fully achieved it between 1821 and 1830. Venezuela suffered political turmoil and dictatorship, and was dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) into the 20th century. After a short interval of democracy in 1945-8 it relapsed into dictatorship but has remained democratic since 1958. Neo-socialist Hugo Chavez was elected President in 1998 and remains in power, hugely controversial at home and abroad, but winner now of several elections and survivor of a coup d'etat in 2002 and a 'no confidence'-style referendum in 2004. See full country profile.

Latest Research News from Venezuela



1 current Latin American job:

Technical Account Manager, Tagging Operations, Puerto Rico, $ salary TBD - (posted Jul 26 2017)


Fast Facts
Map of Venezuela
CAPITAL: Caracas
GOVERNMENT: federal republic
AREA: 912,050 sq km
POPULATION: 27,635,743 (July 2011 est.)
MAJOR LANGUAGE: Official Language: Spanish
Scarlet and white ibises, Venezuela
Scarlet and white ibises, Venezuela


The only way is... Mount Roraima, a table-top mountain that covers the triple border point between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana, is in South Eastern Venezuela in the Canaima National Park, whose mountains are considered to be some of the oldest geological formations on the planet, dating back to around two billion years ago.

British adventurers Im Thurn and Harry Perkins who sought the flora and fauna of Roraima in the 19th Century inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write the classic book The Lost World after he read about their studies in the area. In 2009, Mount Roraima served as inspiration for a location in the Disney/Pixar animated movie Up, and was climbed by some of the Pixar production team looking for inspiration and ideas for the film.

Like neighbouring Colombia, Venezuela has but one Olympic gold medal, won in 1968 in Mexico City by Francisco Rodriguez in the Men's Light Flyweight boxing.

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Venezuela in Profile

Officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this country stretches from the Andes Mountains in the we't to the Amazon Basin rain forest in the south via extensive plains, Caribbean coastline and the Orinoco river delta in the east. Colonised by Spain in 1522, it declared independence in 1811 and fully achieved it between 1821 and 1830. Venezuela suffered political turmoil and dictatorship, and was dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) into the 20th century. After a short interval of democracy in 1945-8 it relapsed into dictatorship but has remained democratic since 1958. Neo-socialist Hugo Chavez was elected President in 1998 and remains in power, hugely controversial at home and abroad, but winner now of several elections and survivor of a coup d'etat in 2002 and a 'no confidence'-style referendum in 2004.

Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil and has the largest proven oil reserves, ahead of Saudi Arabia.

Some Business and General Info

GDP: $345.2 billion (PPP - 2010 est.)

Religions Nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Currency: Bolivar Fuerte (VEF) - $1 = VEF 6.74

Telephone Code: +58

Research Industry

Venezuela's research industry, which had turned over $123m in 2009, shrank to $95m in 2010. Up until 2010 Venezuela's research industry was the third largest in Latin America - it is now the sixth. The drop may be accounted for by high inflation and a negative trend in currency exchange rates.

Overview of Trade and Industry

Venezuela's petroleum sector accounts for roughly a third of GDP, around 80% of exports, and more than half of government revenues. It suffers from high levels of corruption, and despite Chavez' campaigns for greater equality about 30% of the population still live on less than US $2 per day. Economic crises have accompanied world oil gluts and price drops, and by 1998 per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak. Since the year 2000, things have generally improved with oil prices leading the way.

Exports in 2010 totalled $65.79bn. Major export commodities included petrol, bauxite, aluminium, minerals and chemicals. The USA was the largest export partner, accounting for 38.7% of trade; while China, India and Cuba were other main players. Imports to the tune of $38.61bn included agricultural products, machinery, transport equipment and construction materials. Once again, the USA was the biggest partner for imports with 26.6% of trade, with Colombia, Brazil and China also significant partners.

My view
from...
Venezuela
Researchers Talk!
Have your say!
If you are a researcher based in Venezuela, in whatever capacity, then we would love to hear from you!

Email me:
laurence@mrweb.com

Views from...

Everyone (who's seen Gregory's Girl) knows Caracas has ten women to every man. If your knowledge of Venezuelan statistics goes one (or two) better, please write us a few paragraphs!