Venezuela is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
- The territory currently known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples.
- In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American colonies to declare independence, which was not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia.
- A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution, beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new Constitution of Venezuela.
- Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north, especially in the capital, Caracas, which is also the largest city in Venezuela.
- Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and has been one of the world’s leading exporters of oil.
- Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues.
- On 24 July 1823, José Prudencio Padilla and Rafael Urdaneta helped seal Venezuelan independence with their victory in the Battle of Lake Maracaibo.
- Relations between Venezuela and the United States government worsened in 2002, after the 2002 Venezuelan coup d’état attempt during which the U.S. government recognized the short-lived interim presidency of Pedro Carmona.
- The Spanish influence was predominant and in particular came from the regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, the places of origin of most settlers in the Caribbean during the colonial era.