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Flag of Venezuela

Venezuela (/ˌvɛnəˈzwlə/ VEN-ə-ZWAY-lə; Latin American Spanish: [beneˈswela] ), 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. Venezuela comprises an area 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. Venezuela is a 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 having 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 refugee crisis where more than seven 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. Venezuela is a charter member of the United Nations (UN), Organization of American States (OAS), Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Mercosur, Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) and Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI). (Full article...)

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Venezuela was introduced to cinema as a for-profit industry in the 1890s, when the medium became international. There were at least eight national films made in the decade, by three groups of filmmakers — one of the groups was based in Maracaibo and one was based in Caracas. The first film screening in the nation may have taken place as early as 1894, but is generally reported as 1896, with this later date being the first scheduled public screening. (Full article...)

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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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Marcos Evangelista Pérez Jiménez (25 April 1914 – 20 September 2001) was a Venezuelan military and general officer of the Army of Venezuela and the dictator of Venezuela from 1950 to 1958, ruling as member of the military junta from 1950 to 1952 and as president from 1952 to 1958. He took part in the 1948 coup d'état, becoming part of the ruling junta. He ran in the 1952 election. However, the junta cancelled the election when early results indicated that the opposition was ahead, and declared Jiménez provisional president. He became president in 1953 and instituted a constitution that granted him dictatorial powers.

Under Pérez's rule, the rise of oil prices facilitated many public works projects, including roads, bridges, government buildings and public housing, as well as the rapid development of industries such as hydroelectricity, mining, and steel. The economy of Venezuela developed rapidly while Pérez was in power. On the other hand, Pérez presided over one of the most repressive governments in Venezuela. His government's political police, the Dirección de Seguridad Nacional (National Security), suppressed criticism and imprisoned those who opposed his rule. (Full article...)

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Laguna Victoria in the Sierra Nevada of Venezuela

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The University City of Caracas is a World Heritage Site in Caracas, Venezuela. It is a functional university campus for the Central University of Venezuela, as well as home to 108 notable works of art and famous examples of creative architecture. Many works of art are modernist and mosaic. The campus was designed by architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva, who oversaw much of the construction and design work, with the artwork overseen by Mateo Manaure.

Villanueva primarily enlisted artists who were either European or had European influences – Villanueva himself had been inspired for the campus design in Paris – including members of Los Disidentes, a group of Venezuelan artists who left for Europe to break from the Mexican mural tradition. Some artists did not initially want to work on the project, as they were opposed to the military dictatorship in place in Venezuela at the time, but French artist Fernand Léger encouraged them to participate by saying that "dictatorships pass but art remains"; part of Villanueva's intention was unity. Latin American art scholar Monica Amor wrote that Villanueva's Synthesis of the Arts philosophy, inspired by an André Bloc approach, "advocated a strong humanist approach to urban issues of reconstruction and social healing after the devastation of World War II." Amor noted that debate surrounding the dictatorship's funding of the project, and its realization in this context, persists into the 21st century. (Full article...)

Current events

29 November 2023 – 2023 Guayana Esequiba crisis, Brazil–Venezuela relations
The Brazilian Army mobilizes towards the border of Venezuela and Guyana, anticipating a possible Venezuelan military invasion of Guayana Esequiba. (Escenario Mundial)
26 November 2023 – Guyana–Venezuela relations
Guyanese President Irfaan Ali visits the region of Guayana Esequiba and hoists the Guyanese flag, amid heightening tensions with Venezuela over the territory. Venezuela calls the action a "provocation". (El Economista)
15 November 2023 – Guyana–Venezuela relations
Venezuela announces that it will proceed with a referendum on the status of Guayana Esequiba, despite Guyana's petition to stop the referendum from being held. (Reuters)
6 November 2023 –
Fourteen Venezuelan migrants are killed in a fire at a housing settlement in Coronel, Concepción, Chile. (AFP via Mathrubhumi)

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Venezuelan patrol boat Naiguatá

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