Venezuela – education
The education system is characterized by large regional differences and quality problems with different content for schools in the city, in the countryside and for the Native American population. 9% are illiterate (1996).
The preschool for 3-5-year-olds is followed by 44%. From 1980, there has been nine years of compulsory schooling, which can be fulfilled in the public, free, nine-year primary school for 6-14-year-olds. 91% complete primary school.
The youth educations, which are applied for by 40%, are given partly as a two-year, general or technical education, and partly as a three-year, general-technical education.
Admission to one of the country’s 24 universities is conditional on passing the entrance exam. The oldest university is the Universidad Central de Venezuela from 1721, the largest Universidad del Zulia with 47,500 students.
ETYMOLOGY: The name Venezuela is Spanish, egl. ‘little Venice’, referring to the Indian huts of Lake Maracaibo.
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Bolivariana de Venezuela
CAPITAL CITY: Caracas
POPULATION: 28,900,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 912,050 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Spanish, various native dialects
RELIGION: Catholics 93%, Protestants 2%, others 5%
CURRENCY CODE: VEB
ENGLISH NAME: Venezuela
POPULATION COMPOSITION: mestizer 67%, white 21%, black 10%, americans 2%
GDP PER residents: $ 11,527 (2013)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 71 years, women 78 years (2014)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.764
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 67
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .ve
Venezuela is a Federal Republic of Northern South America. The population is dominated by immigrants, as the indigenous peoples only make up approximately 1%. There are great contrasts between the living conditions of the rich and the poor and between big cities like Caracas and the pole houses in the Orinoco Delta. Venezuela was a Spanish colony until 1821, when the country became independent. The landscape alternates between swampy areas on Lake Maracaibo, surrounded by the Andes Mountains, savannah by the Orinoco and rainforest in the Amazon. Venezuela’s oil reserves (7% of the world’s total known reserves) are by far the largest outside the Middle East, and the oil industry plays a crucial role in the country’s economy.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as VZ which stands for Venezuela.
Venezuela – language
Official language is Spanish. In the southern and western parts, over 30 Native American languages are spoken, mainly Caribbean or Arabic. Guajiro, also called wayuu, is spoken by approximately 170,000 (1995), while the others are each spoken by fewer than 20,000, many of quite a few. approximately 500,000 immigrants speak Chinese.
Venezuela – religion
Almost the entire population (92%, 1995) belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. There is religious freedom, and among the small religious groups are Jews and a variety of Protestant communities. In remote areas, there are remnants of Native American religion.
Venezuela – Constitution
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Venezuela is from 1961 with amendments from 1999. The legislative power lies with a unicameral parliament, the National Congress, with 165 members, three of whom must represent the indigenous people; the members are elected by universal suffrage for five years. The executive has the president, who is elected by universal suffrage for six years; following a constitutional amendment in 2009, the restriction on re-election was abolished. The president appoints and heads the government.
In each of the 20 states, a governor and a legislature are elected every four years by general election.
With the new constitution introduced in December 1999, the bicameral national assembly was replaced by a unicameral assembly. It has 165 members elected for five years. Three seats are reserved for the indigenous minority population. The president, who is both head of state and government, is elected for six years.
Venezuela – economy
The oil sector has been the driving force in the country’s economic development since the 1920’s. Venezuela holds 6-7% of the world’s oil reserves and is among the world’s largest oil producers and especially exporters. In 2005, the oil industry accounted for approximately one third of GDP, about 80% of export revenues and half of government revenues. The business cycle is therefore very sensitive to fluctuations in oil prices. The state has traditionally played a governing role in the economy. As early as the 1930’s, taxation of the oil sector was used to subsidize agriculture, and after the introduction of democracy in 1958, the oil industry was set to fund long-term development plans, which also included significant social reforms. Venezuela co-founded OPEC in 1960, and the country experienced significant and stable economic progress until the early 1970’s.
However, the skyrocketing oil prices of 1973-74 led to overambitious development plans. Public spending exploded and the state increased its direct involvement in the economy through nationalizations of the steel and oil industries as well as the creation of a large number of public enterprises. However, as oil prices fell again and the world economy was hit by a crisis in the early 1980’s, public sector debt rose sharply. It was the beginning of a turbulent economic development until the turn of the millennium. Both in 1989 and in 1996, following a severe banking crisis, Venezuela was forced to apply to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, on financial support. The counterclaims were implementation of economic reforms, including a liberalization of trade policy, which had traditionally been designed to protect domestic production, privatizations of state-owned enterprises and a stability-oriented economic policy. The exchange rate of the currency, the bolívar, was sharply overvalued, and after two devaluations, the government in 1996 allowed the exchange rate to float; shortly after, however, the currency was again pegged to the dollar, but in a ratio that is written down each month at a pre-announced rate. The devaluations, together with price liberalization, led to high inflation. Furthermore, as public spending was significantly reduced, the consequence was a sharp deterioration in living standards.
Recessions hit Venezuela in 1998-99 and again in 2001-03, exacerbated by a two-month general strike in the oil sector, but rising oil prices have once again brought the economy back into growth in 2004-05. However, oil extraction does not create many jobs, and Venezuela is characterized by great economic inequality with more than 50% poor. The Chavez government has increased public budgets with expanded tax collection and major social programs, which have led to a marked increase in consumption for the poorest. An ongoing subdivision of landowners’ land has the same purpose and must also strengthen the economy outside the oil sector.
Oil revenues ensure annual surpluses on external balances, and the majority come from trade with the United States, which is Venezuela’s by far most important trading partner. Venezuela, however, seeks to increase regional trade through participation in a customs union with Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, just as the country has applied for membership in MERCOSUR. Denmark’s exports to Venezuela in 2005 amounted to DKK 250 million. kr.; imports from there amounted to 731 million. kr.
Venezuela – social conditions
Venezuela’s large oil revenues are has been used to build a social security system that, especially from the mid-1960’s, reached out to large sections of the population, primarily wage earners in the larger cities. After the first major economic crisis in the mid-1980’s, the state has consistently saved on spending on the social and health care sectors, and as elsewhere, parts of the health and pension systems have been privatized. The pensions that the social security system was supposed to guarantee to employees have been eroded by the crises.
31% of the population lives below the poverty line. That is more than both 10 and 20 years earlier. From 1980 to 2000, despite its oil wealth, Venezuela had the strongest growth in poverty in Latin America. President Chávezhas given the fight against poverty a top priority. Therefore, in 2000, he deployed the army massively in the implementation of Plan Bolívar to improve the living conditions of the poorest through repairs of streets, sewers and buildings in slums and poor villages, improving the environment to prevent epidemics and improving infrastructure. The Army is still actively involved in social and health campaigns, but now in collaboration with the civilian authorities and the 4,000 local councils that have been set up so far. The goal is 15,000. However, the income distribution is still very skewed. The poorest 20% have 3% of the total income, while the richest 20% have 53% of the income.
The Native American peoples in the southern jungle and savannah lands and in the westernmost regions are without the rights to e.g. social security, which the majority has, but the government has announced that it will improve their conditions. Check youremailverifier for Venezuela social condition facts.
Venezuela – health conditions
In 1999, life expectancy was 70.9 years for men and 76.2 years for women. In 1970-98, infant mortality fell from 53 to 22 per 1000 live births. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death and appears to be on the rise. External causes such as accidents, homicides and suicide come in second place followed by cancer and infectious diseases. Malnutrition and malnutrition, iodine deficiency in children, is quite common in parts of the country. Malaria occurs in the quarter of the country located less than 600 masl It is estimated that 600,000 people are infected with the microorganism that is the cause of Chagas’ disease.
In the late 1990’s, Venezuela spent approximately 3.9% of GDP in the health care system, of which approximately 1/3 were direct patient payment. In 1995, there were 583 public hospitals and 4,000 health centers as well as 344 private hospitals. There were 2.4 doctors and 2.3 hospital beds per. 1000 residents with the highest concentration in urban areas.
Venezuela – military
Armed Forces (2006) 59,300. The army (Ejército Bolivariano) is 34,000, the Navy (Armada Nacional Bolivariana) 18,300 and the Air Force (Aviación Militar Nacional Bolivariana) 7,000. The length of service for conscripts varies up to 30 months. The reserve includes 8000, all for the army.
The forces are equipped with a mix of old and newer western equipment. It is because of the US arms embargo that the country is now supplemented with modern Russian- and Chinese-produced equipment. The Army sets up six division headquarters, an armored brigade, an armored reconnaissance brigade, seven independent infantry brigades, an airborne brigade and two hunter brigades. The fleet has 6 major and 6 minor combat units, 2 submarines, 18 landing craft and vessels, 6 support vessels, 3 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, 19 helicopters and a navyof approximately 7800. The Air Force has 125 fighter jets, 55 transport aircraft of various sizes and 84 helicopters. The Security Forces (Guardia Nacional Bolivariana) are 23,000.
Venezuela claims various border areas on land and at sea: the area west of the Essequibo River (half of British Guiana) and a larger part of the Caribbean Sea off Isla Aves, there are some uninhabited rocky outcrops. The rebel group FARC and various drug smugglers regularly cross the Colombian-Venezuelan border.
Venezuela – mass media
Venezuela’s first newspaper, Gaceta de Caracas, was founded in 1808. 15 nationwide dailies are published, but most newspapers are local and only appear in small editions. The leading dailies are Ultimas Noticias (grdl. 1941), El Universal (grdl. 1909) and El Nacional (grdl. 1943). They are all published in Caracas. The media, which is predominantly privately owned, is very political, especially against President Chavez. At the beginning of the 21st century, laws were introduced which restrict the freedom of the media. Private broadcasters operate alongside the state-run Radio Nacional de Venezuela and Venezolana de Televisión. There are hundreds of advertising-financed radio stations. Caracas is also home to the Latin American television channel teleSUR. Almost every home has a TV and also the internet is an important source of information.