"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%
• Government type ~ federal
• “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".
• 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)
• 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
• 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.
• CIA, The World Fact Book: Venezuela. 10 January, 2006.
• Coutsoukis, Photius. Venezuela. 8 September, 2000.
• Diario El Universal C.A. BARCO LABELS VENEZUELA-COLOMBIA RELATIONS AS
"EXCELLENT”. 8, Febuary, 2006.
• MLB.com. World Baseball Classic home and visiting team designations set. 8 February, 2006.
• United Press International, Inc. Venezuela gives Spain arms deal deadline.8 February, 2006.
• 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.