General Facts About Venezuela
Venezuela is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America. It borders Guyana and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Brazil and Colombia to the South, Colombia to the west and the territorial seas of the Dominican Republic, Netherland Antilles, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica to the North.
It has a total area of 916,455 km2, plus the Essequibo area of 159,542 km2 disputed with Guyana. The population in the year 2015 was estimated in 31 million. The majority of Venezuelans live in urban areas in the north, with a great population density in the Metropolitan Area of Caracas (its capital city).
Spanish is the official language; however, the Constitution recognizes more than 30 indigenous languages. A majority of the population is Christian, primarily Roman Catholic.
In his third voyage to America, in 1498, Christopher Columbus arrived in Venezuela, where lived many indigenous groups such as Caribs, Cumanagotos, Mariches, Timoto-Cuicas and Caquetios. Spain’s colonization of mainland Venezuela started at the beginning of the 16th century and continued until the independence was reached in 1811, with Simon Bolivar as the most outstanding hero.
Nowadays Venezuela is a democratic, federal and non-centralized State, with public power divided into executive, legislative, judicial, electoral and citizen authorities.
Its culture is a melting pot created by the influence of indigenous, African and Spanish traditions. Its syncretism shows up in art, culture, cuisine as well in customs.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves and the eighth largest natural gas reserves in the world. It has a market-based economy dominated by the petroleum (https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum) sector. To a lesser extent it also exports other minerals such as iron, steel, gold and aluminum. It has large areas of arable land (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arable_land) and important sources of natural water.
It also has many natural beauties such as the Amazon Rainforest, Angel Falls (the world’s highest waterfall), Canaima National Park, mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Merida, Coro’s Dunes and beautiful beaches in Margarita Island, Los Roques and Morrocoy.