Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela By B Lukas History 141 # 71154 Instructor: Dr. M Arguello Part 1 Nation Report
Venezuela officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( Spanish : República Bolivariana de Venezuela ), is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America . It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Its northern coastline of roughly 2,800 kilometers (1,700 mi) includes numerous islands in the Caribbean Sea , and in the north east borders the northern Atlantic Ocean . Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago , Grenada , Curaçao , Bonaire , Aruba and the Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelan coast. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 square kilometers (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population of 29,105,632.
Capital city of Venezuela & the largest city: Caracas
Population estimate Nov 2010: 29,105,632 (40 th )
Official and National Language: Spanish
Government: Federal Presidential Republic
President: Hugo Chavez Friaz
Vice President: Eliaz Jaua
- From Spain: 5 July 1811
- From Gran Colombia: 13 January 1830
- Recognized: 30 March 1845
Currency: Bolivar Fuerte (VEF)
Drives on the right
President Hugo Chavez
Though Venezuela is entirely situated big mane in the tropics, its climate varies from humid low-elevation plains, where average annual temperatures range as high as 28 °C (82.4 °F), to glaciers and highlands (the páramos ) with an average yearly temperature of 8 °C (46.4 °F). Annual rainfall varies between 430 millimetres (16.9 in) in the semiarid portions of the northwest to 1,000 millimetres (39.4 in) in the Orinoco Delta of the far east. Most precipitation falls between June and October (the rainy season or "winter"); the drier and hotter remainder of the year is known as "summer", though temperature variation throughout the year is not as pronounced as at temperate latitudes. 
The country falls into four horizontal temperature zones based primarily on elevation, having Tropical, Dry, Temperate with Dry Winters, and Polar ( Alpine tundra ) climates, amongst others.    In the tropical zone—below 800 meters / 2,625 feet—temperatures are hot, with yearly averages ranging between 26 and 28 °C (78.8 and 82.4 °F). The temperate zone ranges between 800 and 2,000 meters (2,625 and 6,562 ft) with averages from 12 to 25 °C (53.6 to 77 °F); many of Venezuela's cities, including the capital, lie in this region. Colder conditions with temperatures from 9 to 11 °C (48.2 to 51.8 °F) are found in the cool zone between 2,000 and 3,000 meters (6,562 and 9,843 ft), especially in the Venezuelan Andes, where Pastureland and permanent snowfield with yearly averages below 8 °C (46 °F) cover land above 3,000 meters (9,843 ft) in the high mountain areas known as the páramos .
People of Venezuela Venezuelan people are from a multiethnic nation in South America called Venezuela . Venezuelans are predominantly Roman Catholic and speak Spanish , and a majority of them are the result of a mixture of Europeans, Africans, and Amerindians . With approximately 28 million people in 2006,  Venezuela is the sixth-most populous country in Latin America , after Brazil , Mexico , Argentina , Colombia , and Peru . More than ninety percent of the Venezuelans live in urban areas – a figure significantly higher than the world average. The literacy rate (98 percent) in Venezuela is also well above the world average, and the rate of population growth is slightly higher than the world average. Also, a large proportion of Venezuelans are young, largely because of recent decreases in the infant mortality rate. While 30 percent of the people are 14 years of age or younger, just 4 percent are aged 65 or older.
Ethic Groups The country has a diverse population that reflects its colourful history and the peoples that have populated here from ancient times to the present. The historic amalgam of the different main groups forms the basics of Venezuela's current demographics: European immigrants, Amerindian peoples , Africans , Asians , Middle Easterners and other recent immigrants. Many of the indigenous peoples were absorbed into the mestizo population, but the remaining 500,000 currently represent over eighty-five distinct cultures. The European immigrants were primarily Spanish colonists, but a high number of other Europeans brought by the past high growth ( Portugal , Italian , German , also many North Americans ) migrated to the region in the middle 20th century by the Petroleum Growth, and in smaller numbers French , English and Polish communities immigrated during the Second World War and the Cold War . Black Africans were brought as slaves , mostly to the coastal lowlands, beginning early in the 16th century, and continuing into the 19th century. Other immigrant populations include Asians and Middle Easterners, particularly Lebanese, Syrians, and Chinese. About 65% of the population is mestizo, or of mixed European, African, and Amerindian ancestry, while 25% are white of European ancestry and/or Middle Eastern ancestry. Another 8% is black, or of mixed black African and European ancestry, while 2% is Amerindian ancestry. Pure indigenous Amerindians comprise 1 percent of the population. There are 101 languages listed for Venezuela in the Ethnologue database, of which 80 are spoken today as living languages.
Indigenous peoples Before the Spanish colonization of the region that would become the country of Venezuela, the territory was the home to many different indigenous peoples . Today more than fifty different indigenous ethnic groups inhabit Venezuela. Most of them speak languages belonging to the Chibchan and Cariban language families. Religion The National Institute for Statistics (INE) does not collect religious statistics, and accurate reports are hard to obtain. Based on various studies, more than 95% of the population adheres to Christianity , in which a huge segment of the population, between 81% and 90%, practices Roman Catholicism . About 1% of Venezuelans practice indigenous religions . Under 1% practice Judaism , Islam , Hinduism , and Buddhism . Despite strong numbers of adherents, around 60% of respondents to a poll by El Tiempo report that they do not practice their faith actively. Semana-santa-en-Venezuela
History of Venezuela Human habitation of Venezuela could have commenced at least 15,000 years ago from which period leaf -shaped tools, together with chopping and plano -convex scraping implements, have been found exposed on the high riverine terraces of the Rio Pedregal in western Venezuela. Late Pleistocene hunting artifacts, including spear tips, have been found at a similar series of sites in northwestern Venezuela known as "El Jobo"; according to radiocarbon dating , these date from 13,000 to 7000 BC. It is not known how many people lived in Venezuela before the Spanish Conquest ; it may have been around a million people, and in addition to today's indigenous peoples included groups such as the Auaké , Caquetio , Mariche and Timoto-cuicas . The number was reduced after the Conquest, mainly through the spread of new diseases from Europe. There were two main north-south axes of pre-Columbian population, producing maize in the west and manioc in the east. Large parts of the llanos plains were cultivated through a combination of slash and burn and permanent settled agriculture. Colonization In 1498, during his third voyage to the Americas, Christopher Columbus sailed near the Orinoco Delta and then landed in the Gulf of Paria . Amazed, Columbus expressed in his moving letter to Isabella and Ferdinand that he had reached the heaven on Earth (the paradise ), and confused by the unusual saltiness of the water. His certainty of having attained Paradise made him name this region Land of Grace , a phrase which has become the country's nickname.
Independence After a series of unsuccessful uprisings, Venezuela—under the leadership of Francisco de Miranda , a Venezuelan marshal who had fought in the American Revolution and the French Revolution — declared independence on 5 July 1811. This began the Venezuelan War of Independence . However, a devastating earthquake that struck Caracas in 1812 , together with the rebellion of the Venezuelan llaneros , helped bring down the first Venezuelan republic . A second Venezuelan republic , proclaimed on 7 August 1813, lasted several months before being crushed as well. Sovereignty was only attained after Simón Bolívar , aided by José Antonio Páez and Antonio José de Sucre , won the Battle of Carabobo on 24 June 1821. José Prudencio Padilla and Rafael Urdaneta 's victory in the Battle of Lake Maracaibo on 24 July 1823, helped seal Venezuelan independence. New Granada's congress gave Bolívar control of the Granadian army; leading it, he liberated several countries and founded Gran Colombia . Sucre, who won many battles for Bolívar, went on to liberate Ecuador and later become the second president of Bolivia . Venezuela remained part of Gran Colombia until 1830, when a rebellion led by Páez allowed the proclamation of a newly independent Venezuela; Páez became the first president of the new republic. Between one- fourth and one-third of Venezuela's population was lost during these two decades of warfare (including perhaps one-half of the white population), which by 1830 was estimated at about 800,000.
The colors of the Venezuelan flag are yellow, blue and red, in that order: the yellow stands for land wealth, the blue for the sea that separates Venezuela from Spain, and the red for the blood shed by the heroes of independence