Country of the World Venezuela

About the country Venezuela, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Venezuela is situated on the north coast of South America and can be divided into four distinct geographical areas: the Andes in the northwest, the long Atlantic and Caribbean coastlines, the central plains, or llanos, and the dense, forbidding jungle in the southeast that makes up nearly half the country.

Size: 352,000 sq. mi. (912,050 sq. km.).

Population: 13 million.

Who Rules: A one-term president and a bicameral, elected Congress.

Who REALLY Rules: Control of Venezuela's vast oil reserves has always meant political control of the country as well. For over 60 years that control rested in the hands of foreign, primarily U.S., oil companies--Exxon, Shell, Gulf, Texaco. However, at a cost to Venezuela of over $1 billion in compensation payments, the country is now run by a relatively stable representative government, and political freedom is generally respected, although occasional student rioting and guerrilla activity continue.

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