VENEZUELA





Venezuela 1567
Photo by: irabassi

Republic of Venezuela

República de Venezuela

CAPITAL : Caracas

FLAG : The national flag, adopted in 1930, is a tricolor of yellow, blue, and red horizontal stripes. An arc of seven white stars on the blue stripe represents the seven original states.

ANTHEM : Himno Nacional, beginning "Gloria al bravo pueblo" ("Glory to the brave people").

MONETARY UNIT : The bolívar ( B ) is a paper currency of 100 céntimos. There are coins of 5, 25, and 50 céntimos and 1, 2, and 5 bolívars, and notes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 bolívars. B 1 = $0.000529 (or $1 = B 1,890; as of February 2003).

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Declaration of Independence and Day of the Indian, 19 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Army Day and Anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, 24 June; Independence Day, 5 July; Bolívar's Birthday, 24 July; Civil Servants Day, 4 September; Columbus Day, 12 October; Christmas, 25 December; New Year's Eve, 31 December. Movable holidays are Carnival (Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday), Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Numerous other bank holidays and local festivals are observed.

TIME : 8 AM = noon GMT.


ETHNIC GROUPS

The original inhabitants of Venezuela were Amerindians, predominantly Caribs and Arawaks. The majority (about 68%) of the present population is mestizo (mixed race). Approximately 21% are European, primarily Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and German. Blacks account for an estimated 8–10%, and Amerindians for about 2%. Arab peoples are also represented in the overall populace.

LANGUAGES

The official language is Spanish. It is fairly standardized throughout the country among the educated population, but there are marked regional variations. Numerous indigenous dialects are also spoken.

INSURANCE

All insurance companies operating in Venezuela are under the direction of the Ministry of Development. The insurance industry is an important source of investment capital. It is regulated by the Superintendent of Insurance. Third-party automobile liability and workers' compensation, which is covered under the Social Security scheme, are considered compulsory in Venezuela.

Read about the Culture of Venezuela. More about Venezuela's Culture.

Read about the Geography of Venezuela.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baloyra, Enrique, and John Martz. Political Attitudes in Venezuela. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979.

Betancourt, Rómulo. Venezuela, Oil, and Politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Blank, David E. Venezuela: Politics in a Petroleum Republic. New York: Praeger, 1984.

Bond, Robert D. (ed.). Contemporary Venezuela and Its Role in International Affairs. New York: New York University Press, 1977.

Boue, Juan Carlos. Venezuela: The Political Economy of Oil. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Corrales, Javier. Presidents without Parties: The Politics of Economic Reform in Argentina and Venezuela in the 1990s. University Park, Penn.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.

Dinneen, Mark. Culture and Customs of Venezuela. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Eaton, Kent. Politicians and Economic Reform in New Democracies: Argentina and the Philippines in the 1990s. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.

Ewell, Judith. Venezuela and the United States: From Monroe's Hemisphere to Petroleum's Empire. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

Fox, Geoffrey. The Land and People of Venezuela. New York: Harper Collins, 1991.

Gall, Norman. Oil and Democracy in Venezuela. Hanover, N.H.: American Universities Field Staff, 1973.

Gilmore, Robert L. Caudillism and Militarism in Venezuela, 1810–1910. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1964.

Haggerty, Richard A. (ed.). Venezuela: A Country Study. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1993.

Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.

Hellinger, Daniel. Venezuela: Tarnished Democracy. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1991.

Herman, Marc. Searching for El Dorado: A Journey into the South American Rainforest on the Tail of the World's Largest Gold Rush. New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2003.

Lessons of the Venezuelan Experience. Edited by Louis W. Goodman et al. Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center, 1995.

Levine, Daniel H. Conflict and Political Change in Venezuela. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1973.

Lombardi, John V. Venezuela: The Search for Order, the Dream of Progress. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

——. Venezuelan History: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1977.

Naim, Moises. Paper Tigers and Minotaurs: The Politics of Venezuela's Economic Reforms. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1993.

Oropeza, Luis. Venezuela's Tutelary Pluralism: A Critical Approach to Venezuelan Democracy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1984.

Petras, James F., et al. The Nationalization of Venezuelan Oil. New York: Praeger, 1977.

Pollak-Eltz, Angelina. Black Culture and Society in Venezuela. Caracas, Venezuela: Public Affairs Dept. of Lagoven, 1994.

Rudolph, Donna K., and G. A. Rudolph. Historical Dictionary of Venezuela. 2d ed. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow, 1996.

Salazar-Carrillo, J. Oil in the Economic Development of Venezuela. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1976.

Silva Michelena, José A. The Illusion of Democracy in Dependent Nations: The Politics of Change in Venezuela, Vol. 3. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1971.

Smith-Perera, Roberto. Energy and the Economy in Venezuela. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University, 1988.

Tugwell, Franklin. The Politics of Oil in Venezuela. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1975.

Venezuela in Pictures. Minneapolis: Lerner, 1987.

Waddell, D. A. G. (David Alan Gilmour). Venezuela. Oxford, England, and Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio Press, 1990.

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