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					        Venezuela
"The imperialist, genocidal, fascist attitude of the
     US president has no limits“ ~ Hugo Chavez




                 By Laura Henderson
  Quick Facts You Should Know
• Capital ~ Caracas             • President ~ Hugo Chavez
• Population:                   • Economy ~ roughly 1/3 of
  25,375,281 (July 2005 est.)     GDP, around 80% of export
• National Language ~ Spanish     earnings, over half of
• Ethnic Groups ~ Spanish,        government operating
  Italian, Portuguese, Arab,      revenues relies on petroleum
  German, African, indigenous   • Internet users:
  people                          1,274,400 (2002)
• Religions ~ 96% Roman         • Telephones - mobile cellular:
  Catholic, 2% Protestant, 2%
                                  6,463,600 (2002)
  other
• Government type ~ federal
  republic
                              Background
•   “Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in
    1830 (the others being Colombia and Ecuador). For most of the first half of the 20th
    century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted
    the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments
    have held sway since 1959. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic
    institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the
    Colombian border, increasing internal drug consumption, overdependence on the
    petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are
    endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.”   *(Central Intelligence Agency, 2006)
             Government and Politics




•   Venezuela has a federal republic, which is a state in which the powers of the central government
    are restricted and in which the component parts (states, colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of
    self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental
    representatives. The president Hugo Chavez has been in office since February 3, 1999.In April
    2002 there was an unsuccessful coup to try and remove Chavez. It was closely linked to the
    United States. More than a 100 people died in events before and after the coup. To this day the
    relations between President Chavez and President Bush are hostile as can be seen by this quote
    by Chavez, "Hitler would be like a suckling baby next to George Bush".
International Relations
            •   The Venezuelan ambassador to the United States
                met with Rep. Bernie Sanders to announce a price
                break on heating oil for Vermont’s poor. Nearly 3
                million gallons of oil will come from Venezuela,
                which supplies much of the oil we use in the
                northeast. This is a similar program that has been
                offered to other New England states after oil prices
                skyrocketed after Hurricane Katrina. These price
                breaks are going to be offered to other states in the
                Northeast. The contribution is worth $2 million.
            •   President Bush has refused to allow Spain’s CASA
                aircraft company from using U.S technology to build
                aircraft that they would sell to Venezuela. Because
                of this embargo on U.S. technology Venezuela's
                president Hugo Chavez has issued a 30 day
                ultimatum for Spain to find alternate technology or
                else he will buy the aircraft somewhere else.
            •   Venezuela says that the United States is wasting its
                taxpayers money by boosting commercials that are
                against Venezuela's president Chavez. President
                Bush’s 2007 budget proposal has called for
                increased spending on broadcasts of international
                and U.S interests in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and
                Afghanistan. Venezuela and the United States are
                not on the best of terms right now and since
                Venezuela is the 5th largest supplier of oil in the
                world and we import it is becoming interesting to
                watch the two presidents spat with one another.
    More On International Relations
•    Rafael Ramirez, the energy minister said Wednesday
     February 8, 2006 that "very soon" Venezuela will export a total
     of 300,000 barrels of oil per day to China, as part of an
     expansion of the contract it signed last year with China
     National Petroleum Corporation. The two countries have been
     working out a deal for the past few months on the issue and
     initially their agreement called for Venezuela to ship 100,000
     barrels of crude per day to the Asian nation and another
     60,000 barrels of oil derivatives. President Hugo Chavez
     visited China at the end of 2004 to sign a series of energy and
     trade agreements, and recently said he would consider
     returning to the Asian country to negotiate a possible purchase
     of military aircraft.

•    “Colombian Foreign Affairs minister Carolina Barco
     Wednesday said in Dominican Republic that Colombian ties
     with Venezuela are "excellent" and based on "a honest
     dialogue," Efe reported. Barco, who is paying an official visit to
     Dominican Republic, stated that Colombian President Álvaro
     Uribe and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chávez "have
     never had trouble to address the difficulties" facing the two
     countries. "Anytime we have bumped into problems over the
     border in connection with rebel groups, we have addressed
     this issue straight away," she said in a TV interview. "Our
     relations are based on the search of projects benefiting the two
     countries and on honest talks to deal with our problems," the
     diplomat ensured. Colombia-Venezuela relations have been
     seriously disturbed by the presence of Colombian guerrillas
     over their 2,000-km common border.” (Daily News, 2006)
                                    Culture
•   Venezuela won its first Caribbean
    Series championship since 1989 by
    rallying for two runs in the bottom of
    the ninth inning to beat the Dominican
    Republic 5-4 in Valencia, Venezuela.

•   Venezuela will be participating in The
    World Baseball Classical along with 15
    other teams representing countries
    from all over the globe. This is the first
    year the International Baseball
    Federation has sanctioned this event
    and the games will be played at
    different stadiums in Japan, Puerto
    Rico, the United States and feature the
    best players in the world. The bracket-
    style formatted tournament will start in
    Tokyo, Japan on Friday, March 3
    2006.
                               Work Cited
•   Bennet, Clay. Venezuela Coup. <http://www.claybennett.com/pages/venezuela_coup.html>.
•   The Chicago Tribune. Blanco’s Double Sends Venezuela to Series title. 8 February, 2006.
<http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cs-
    0602080248feb08,1,424172.story?coll=cs-baseball-print>.
•   CIA, The World Fact Book: Venezuela. 10 January, 2006.
    <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ve.html>.
•   Coutsoukis, Photius. Venezuela. 8 September, 2000.
    <http://www.geographic.org/maps/new1/venuela_maps.html>.
•   Diario El Universal C.A. BARCO LABELS VENEZUELA-COLOMBIA RELATIONS AS
    "EXCELLENT”. 8, Febuary, 2006.
    <http://english.eluniversal.com/2006/02/08/en_pol_art_08A668739.shtml>.
•   MLB.com. World Baseball Classic home and visiting team designations set. 8 February, 2006.
<http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20060208&content_id
    =1308597&vkey=pr_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb>.
•   United Press International, Inc. Venezuela gives Spain arms deal deadline.8 February, 2006.
    <http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism/view.php?StoryID=20060208-104602-8636r>.
•   VHeadline.com Reporters. Venezuela-Vermont: 2.5 million gallons heating oil to low-income
    community. 7 February, 2006. www.vheadline.com/ readnews.asp?id=32547.
•   Vulliamy, Ed. Venezuela coup linked to Bush team. 21 April, 2002.
    <http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,688071,00.html>.

				
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