Thursday, November 7, 2013

Venezuela - Introduction

The Republic of Venezuela owes its name , which means "Little Venice", because the original. Amerindians inhabitants built their homes on stilts on Lake Maracaibo.
   Several Indian tribes lived in Venezuela before the Spaniards arrived.The first European to sight was Christopher Columbusin 1498.
Spain ruled Venezuela until 1811, when it became the first Spanish Colony to declare independence. It was part of Great columbia until 1830.
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a country on the northern coast of South America. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 square kilometres (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population of approximately 29,100,000. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 despite resistance from indigenous peoples. It became one of the first Spanish American colonies to declare independence (in 1811) but did not securely establish independence until 1821 (as a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia, gaining full independence in 1830). During the 19th century Venezuela suffered political turmoil and dictatorship, and it was dominated by regionalcaudillos (military strongmen) well into the 20th century. The country has had democratic governments since 1958; before that, like most countries of Latin America, it suffered some coups and military dictatorships. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis causing hundreds of deaths in the Caracazoriots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former 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 a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), andFederal Dependencies (covering Venezuela's offshore islands). Venezuela also claims all Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River; this 159,500 square kilometres (61,583 sq mi) tract was dubbed Guayana Esequiba or the Zona en Reclamación (the "zone being reclaimed").
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 and one of the most dangerous cities in the world. 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 oil reserves. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, which sawinflation peak at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rise to 66% in 1995[8] as (by 1998) per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak. The recovery of oil prices after 2001 boosted the Venezuelan economy and facilitated social spending, although the fallout of the 2008 global financial crisis saw a renewed economic downturn. However, as of late 2010 Venezuela's economy returned to growth.Currently, Venezuela's economy is in a steady state of decline and the crime rate has sharply increased and is among the highest in the world.

palafito, a village or dwelling erected on bodies of water.[13] V YA
In 1499, an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast. The stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaiboreminded the navigator Amerigo Vespucci of the city of Venice, so he named the region "Veneziola". The name acquired its current spelling as a result of Spanish influence, where the suffix -uela is used as a diminutive term ; thus, the term's original sense would have been that of a "little Venice". The German term for the area, "Klein-Venedig", also means little Venice .
Nonetheless, although the Vespucci story remains the most popular and accepted version of the origin of the country's name, a different reason for the name comes up in the account of Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew. In his work Summa de geografía, he states that they found an indigenous population who called themselves the "Veneciuela", which suggests that the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the native word..
Venezuela was rhe first of the south American countries to be discovered by Europeans , for Columbus touched its shores on his thid voyage in 1498.The Spaniards built settlements in the early 16th century and for the next 300 years the country was a Spanish Colony. Simon Bolivar led a successful rebellion against Spanish rule, enabling Venezuela to become an Independent nation in 1830. from 1870 to 1935 the country was ruled by a series of Dictators and national prosperity suffered accordingly. A number of democratic constitutions have been introduced but since then no stable Govt was found.As in other South american states, the army was apt to intervenein politics..