Venezuela ( in Spanish : Venezuela ); officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( República Bolivariana de Venezuela ), a country located on the northern coast of South America .Venezuela covers an area of 916,445 square kilometers (353,841 square miles) with an estimated population of about 29,100,000. Venezuela is a very biologically diverse country with numerous ecological zones ranging from the Andes in the west to the rainforest Amazon Basin in the south, passing through the vast Lannos plains, the Caribbean coast in the center and the eastern Orinoco River delta.
In 1522, Venezuela fell under the Spanish occupation despite the resistance of indigenous peoples. But it became one of the first Spanish- American colonies to declare independence ( in 1811 ). However, the independence order did not become stable until 1821 (and Venezuela gained full independence in 1830 as part of the Greater Federal Republic of Colombia ). During the 19th century Venezuela suffered from political upheaval and dictatorship, and was dominated by a group of regional squads (strong military leaders) for as long as the twentieth century. Democratic governments have come to power in Venezuela since 1958, but a period in which Venezuela suffered some coups and military dictatorships , like most Latin American countries . Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis that caused the deaths of hundreds of people in the riots called Caracas in 1989, two attempts to overthrow in 1992 and the dismissal of President Carlos Andres Perez on charges of misappropriation of public funds in 1993. The collapse of confidence in the existing parties led to the election of former government official Hugo Chávez as President of Venezuela in the 1998 elections and the launching of the Bolivarian Revolution , beginning with the formation of a Constituent Assembly in 1999 to write a new constitution for Venezuela .
Venezuela is a federal presidential republic made up of 23 states, the metropolitan area (covering Caracas ), and federal dependencies (covering the islands in Venezuela). Venezuela also claims all of Guyana the territory west of the Isquipo River , which is 159,500 square kilometers (61583 square miles) tract known as Guayana or Zona ("the area being reclaimed").
Venezuela is among the most civilized countries in Latin America ; vast majority of Venezuelans live in cities in the north, especially in the capital, Caracas , which is also the largest city and one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil and has the largest oil reserves. Previously the underdeveloped source of agricultural commodities such as coffee, cocoa and oil soon came to dominate exports and government revenues. The abundance of oil in 1980 led to the external debt crisis and the long-standing economic crisis, which saw peak inflation at 100% in 1996, and high poverty rates to 66% in 1995 as (by 1998) per capita GDP Fell to the same level in 1963, down one-third from the peak in 1978. recovery in oil prices after 2001 bolstered Venezuela's economy and social spending, despite the fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis. However, as of late 2010 Venezuela's economy has returned to growth.Currently, Venezuela's economy is in a steady state of declining crime and has risen sharply, which is among the highest in the world