Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America. The country is bordered by Colombia to the west, Brazil to the south, Guyana to the east and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east.
The capital Caracas is the largest city in the country. Other major cities are Maracaibo, Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maracay and Ciudad Guayana.
In addition to galloping inflation and a serious political and economic crisis, the country’s capital, Caracas, is once again in focus as the most violent city in the world. In Caracas, more killings are committed than anywhere else in the world – more precisely 120 killings per. 100,000 residents annually.
The Orinoco River and Venezuela’s mountain ranges divide the country into some specific areas, all with different climates.
Lake Maracaibo holds large oil reserves, making the area an important center of Venezuela’s economy. The General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge crosses the lake and connects the million- strong city of Maracaibo with the rest of Venezuela.
In oil-rich Venezuela, which until a decade or two ago was one of the region’s richest countries, according to businesscarriers, residents are queuing up at supermarkets where food shortages are visible. Three-digit inflation erodes savings at record speeds, falling oil prices have exacerbated the situation, and most observers agree that Maduro’s economic policies are only exacerbating the situation.
President Nicolas Maduros and his regime are holding on despite massive protests and an economy in free fall. In 2001, Venezuela was the richest country in South America. Today it is among the poorest on the continent.
Crime in Venezuela is widespread, with violent crimes such as murder and kidnapping often increasing annually. The UN has attributed crime to the poor political and economic environment in the country, which has the second highest murder rate in the world.
13.0000 BCE – Archaeological finds and carbon dating suggest that there were settlements here.
5000-1200 BCE – The ancestors of the people of South America, are believed to be nomadic Asian hunter-gatherers who crossed the frozen Bering Strait and came to North America. Then they traveled south to the countries of Central and South America.
1498 – The land was discovered by Christopher Columbus, and he was so impressed that he noticed that it must be paradise, and gave the area ( Isla Margarita ) the name Land of Grace. However, they would have explored the country more if it were not for the fact that Columbus became ill, so the expedition had to return home. Later, the country was named Little Venice, by Amerigo Vespucci in 1499.
1522 – The country is colonized by Spain despite opposition from the indigenous peoples.
1811 – It became one of the first Spanish American colonies to declare independence, but did not secure independence until 1821.
1819 – After the South American general and national hero, Simon Bolivar liberated his country and Peru, Colombia, Ecuador Formed Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, the independent Republic of Colombia. ( Greater Colombia ). Venezuela emerged from this coalition in 1830 to become an independent nation. The capitals were in Bogotá, Caracas and Quito.
1830 – Weakened by war injuries and ill with tuberculosis, Simón Bolívar died on December 17, 1830 in Colombia, in the city of Santa Marta, after a strenuous journey from Bogotá on the Magdalena River. ” I now realize that I have plowed the sea,” the disillusioned and debilitated Simón Bolívar should have said on his deathbed. In 1832 his ashes were brought to Caracas with great solemnity.
1959 – Democratically elected governments are formed and the country establishes its own constitution in 1961.
1992 – A coup in February led by Hugo Chavez is defeated. He must spend two years in prison before being pardoned. Another coup attempt will take place later in November, but has not been successful.
1994 – Salto del Angel (Angel Falls), a famous waterfall located in Bolivar in the southeast of the country, is the highest in the world with a fall of 979 meters, and a free fall of 807 meters. The site is located in the Canaima National Park, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The park was also used as a film set for Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park”.
1999 – The popular election of President Hugo Chavez causes a significant controversy, especially in the United States, as Venezuela has some of the largest (proven) oil reserves outside the Middle East, and President Chavez uses these as a regional threat and bargaining chip.
2000 – Chavez is re-elected president on July 30.
2002 – From 11-13. April a coup attempt forces Chavez from his post for 2 days. Sixty people were killed during the unrest.
In early December, senior officers go on national television to condemn Chavez and call on the public to rally against him.
2004 – On 15 August, the first results of the recall show that more than 58% of Venezuelans have voted to keep Chavez in office, while 42% are in favor of ousting him. The next day, a group of observers led by former US President Jimmy Carter announced that they found no fraud in the recall vote.
2006 – Chavez is re-elected on December 3.
2009 – A referendum is approved on February 15, allowing Chavez to take a third six – year term as president in 2012.
2011 – US imposes sanctions on seven companies, including Venezuela’s state oil company, for supporting Iran in the energy sector.
2012 – Chavez is re-elected on October 7.
2013 – Hugo Chavez died on March 5, aged 58, of the cancer he claimed to have been treated and cured of in 2011 in Cuba. In 2012, he was operated on four times, and the last time on March 1, 2013, when he was admitted to a military hospital in Caracas, where he died 4 days later. The human rights organization Human Rights Watch stated that during Chavez ‘s reign, there was a concentration of power under the president and that basic human rights guarantees were eroding, enabling the persecution of the people who criticized the president or his policies. Vice President Nicholas Maduro becomes interim president.
2013 – On April 14, Maduro narrowly wins the presidential election with 50.8% of the vote, defeating opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
On September 30, Maduro announces on state-run television that he is expelling three U.S. diplomats. He claims they were involved in actions, with the aim of destabilizing the country.
2014 – Protests in February, in response to economic problems, as well as an increase in crime. Some demonstrations develop violently, with at least three dead in the midst of the unrest.
On February 18, opposition leader Leopoldo López is arrested. He is charged with conspiracy and murder in connection with the demonstrations. He was later sentenced to more than 13 years in prison.
2015 – The mayor of Caracas is arrested on February 20 and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the government. The opposition says the mayor’s arrest is an attempt to divert attention from the country’s economic problems.
On December 6, President Barack Obama issues a decree to address the human rights situation in Venezuela, with sanctions against seven people.
2016 – On January 15, Maduro declares a state of ‘economic emergency.’
2017 – On April 17, Maduro orders armed forces on the streets of Caracas, following weeks of deadly, government-hostile protests. Between 20-21. at least 13 people are killed within 24 hours.
On July 5, on the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence, armed (with pipes, sticks and stones) storm supporters of Maduro, the country’s National Assembly in Caracas, attacking opposition lawmakers. At least 13 are injured, according to National Assembly President Julio Borges.
2017 – Hunger gnaws at the country in August, when a government led by controversial President Nicolás Maduro, who otherwise claims to rule for the poorest, has left most of its 31 million people on the brink of starvation, forcing citizens to stealing animals from zoos.
October – Official results of Sunday’s regional elections in Venezuela give President Nicolas Maduro’s Socialist Party victory in 17 of Venezuela’s 23 states, despite opinion polls showing Maduro with only 23 percent support is more unpopular than ever due to the widespread economic and political problems in the country. But the opposition refuses to acknowledge the result. ” As long as the Maduro regime behaves like an authoritarian dictatorship, we will work with the international community and use the full economic and diplomatic power of the United States to support the Venezuelan people seeking to restore their democracy, ” the Washington statement said.