Venezuela By Michael Burks
Background Information • Venezuela was colonized by the Spanish in 1522. • Gained Independence from Spain in 1823. This fight was lead by José Antonio Páez. • After gaining independence, Venezuela had many civil wars over how the country should be run.
Geography • Venezuela is located in Northern South America, with the Caribbean Sea to the North and Brazil to the South. • Compared to California, it is slightly more than two times its size. • The Andes Mountains are in the Northwest and the Guiana Highlands are in the Southeast. • Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the highest waterfall in the world
Population • The population of Venezuela, measured in July of 2012, was 28,047,938. • The distribution of the population is 0-14 years: 29%, 15-64 years: 65.4%, 65 years and over: 5.6%. • The median age is 26.3 and the population grows at a rate of 1.468%.
Government • Venezuela is a federal republic similar to the U.S. in that it has three levels of government with president at the head. • The current President is Hugo Chavez and he has been since 1999. • The flag has three colors: red for blood, blue for the courage of the people, and yellow for the riches of the land. The original seven stars represented the seven states of Venezuela there were when they gained their independence.
Communications • Venezuela’s communications network is not as advanced as I thought with the telephone main lines at 7.33 million and the cellular lines at 28.782 million, which rank 24th and 35th respectively. • They have many ways to watch TV as the country has state run TV stations and privately owned ones. • The country has access to internet, about 8.918 people use the internet, which ranks 32nd in the world.
Economy • Venezuela’s economy depends heavily on their profits from oil as it accounts for 95% of their export earnings. They do export other things like, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, but as stated before this only accounts for 5% of their export earnings. • Their GDP per capita for 2012 is $13,200, which ranks 96th in the world. • Their economy is not in very good shape right now, despite record oil prices this year.
Current News • Venezuela officials: Hugo Chavez's health 'improving‘ (BBC News) • In October, Chavez was elected to serve his fourth presidential term. In December, he had surgery to deal with his cancer. In January, he missed his own inauguration as he was recovering in Cuba. There is now controversy as to who is running the country because of his absense. • Miners' attack on Yanomami Amazon tribe 'kills dozens‘ (BBC News) • The attack was reported to have taken place in July of 2012 and around 80 Yanomami tribe members were killed by illegal Brazilian gold miners. • Blast at Venezuela oil refinery kills 39 (CNN) • At this refinery, it was confirmed to be an accident, however there were accusations against Hugo Chavez that he ignored warnings that the explosion was going to happen. He has denied these accusations and they have been put to rest.
Sources • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venezuela • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ve.html • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21316673 • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-19413107 • http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/25/world/americas/venezuela-refinery-blast