World Country Venezuela

About the world country Venezuela, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

VENEZUELA

Location: Northern coast of South America, between Colombia and Guyana. Size: 352,143 sq. mi. (912,050 sq. km.). Population: 15,771,000 (excluding as many as 200,000 jungle Indians).

Who Really Rules: Venezuela is one of the most democratic nations in Latin America; two major political parties alternate control of the government. Elections resemble campaigns in the U.S., and the political parties even hire North American media consultants. In the 1970s the spurt in oil revenues greatly increased government control of the economy, but it did little to reduce economic inequality in the population.

Long a preserve of U.S. oil companies, the rise of OPEC in 1973 gave Venezuela sufficient oil revenue to nationalize the industry. Since then Venezuela has used its money and skills to promote economic nationalism and political democracy in Central America (including Nicaragua), the Caribbean, and Ecuador. The government remains friendly to the U.S., but it has awarded a growing share of major public works and industrial development contracts to European and Japanese firms.

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