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Venezuela (/ˌvɛnəˈzwlə/; American Spanish: [beneˈswela] (listen)), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi), and its population was estimated at 29 million in 2022. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas.

The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. The Venezuelan government maintains a claim against Guyana to Guayana Esequiba. Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District and federal dependencies covering Venezuela's offshore islands. Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north and in the capital.

Venezuela is a developing country and ranks 113th on the Human Development Index. It has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Previously, the country was an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, but oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The excesses and poor policies of the incumbent government led to the collapse of Venezuela's entire economy. The country struggles with record hyperinflation, shortages of basic goods, unemployment, poverty, disease, high child mortality, malnutrition, severe crime and corruption. These factors have precipitated the Venezuelan migrant crisis where more than three million people have fled the country. By 2017, Venezuela was declared to be in default regarding debt payments by credit rating agencies. The crisis in Venezuela has contributed to a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation, including increased abuses such as torture, arbitrary imprisonment, extrajudicial killings and attacks on human rights advocates. Venezuela is a charter member of the UN, Organization of American States (OAS), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), ALBA, Mercosur, Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) and Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). (Full article...)

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A light map of Venezuela on the night of 7 March 2019 and the night of 8 March 2019.

Nationwide recurring electrical blackouts in Venezuela began in March 2019. Experts and state-run Corpoelec (Corporación Eléctrica Nacional) sources attribute the electricity shortages to lack of maintenance and to a lack of technical expertise in the country resulting from a brain drain; Nicolás Maduro's administration attributes them to sabotage. Since March, various nationwide blackouts occurred in the country.

The first widespread blackout began on 7 March 2019 at 4:56 pm local time (GMT-4); it lasted through 14 March, when power was restored to much of the country. It was the largest power outage in the country's history, and affected the electricity sector in Venezuela in most of its 23 states, as well as Roraima border state of Brazil, causing serious problems in hospitals and clinics, industry, transport and in water service. At least 43 deaths resulted. On 12 March, power returned to some parts of the country, but Caracas remained only partially powered and western regions near the border with Colombia remained dark. Power outages persisted in some areas for many days after 14 March. (Full article...)

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Plaza Francia2.jpg

Plaza Francia, also known as "Plaza Altamira", is a public space located in Altamira, east Caracas. It was built at the beginning of the 1940s and opened on August 11, 1945 with the name "Plaza Altamira". Its name was later changed due to an agreement between the cities of Caracas and Paris to have a Venezuela Square in Paris and a France Square in Caracas.

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Ramírez with the Reds in 2009

Ramón A. Ramírez (born September 16, 1982) is a Venezuelan former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds. He threw three pitches: a fastball, a slider, and a changeup.

Ramírez was signed by the San Diego Padres in 2000 as an outfielder, but he was released in 2001. The Reds signed him in 2003 as a pitcher, and he reached the major leagues in 2008, when he made four starts for the Reds. The next year, he appeared in 11 games in relief for the Reds. After the season, the Tampa Bay Rays claimed him off waivers, but they released him. The Boston Red Sox claimed him off waivers, and he spent 2010 in the minor leagues for them. He signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2011, but he was released before appearing in a game with them. (Full article...)

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Laguna Victoria in the Sierra Nevada of Venezuela

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The Salón de la Fama y Museo del Béisbol Venezolano (in English, the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum) is a nonprofit institution operated by private interests, which was founded on April 18, 2002, thanks to the vision of Carlos Daniel Cárdenas Lares. The institution is located at Centro Sambil, in Valencia, the capital city of Carabobo State and the third largest city of Venezuela.

The museum offers visitors the origins and growth of baseball in the world and the history of what is known as the National sport of Venezuela. It also shows, through its exhibitions, the most prominent players who have made significant achievements, as well as efforts to honor people who have highlighted the activity of baseball in Venezuela, recognizing and appreciating their impact on national culture and exalt those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport. (Full article...)

Current events

26 September 2022 – Colombia–Venezuela relations
The Colombia–Venezuela border reopens for commerce and trade after a seven-year closure. (Bloomberg)

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Venezuelan patrol boat Naiguatá



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