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Venezuela (2006)

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Venezuela 2006 year

Administrative divisions 23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 capital district* (distrito capital), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales**, Distrito Federal*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia

note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
Age structure 0-14 years: 29.1% (male 3,860,116/female 3,620,440)

15-64 years: 65.7% (male 8,494,944/female 8,410,874)

65 years and over: 5.2% (male 609,101/female 734,960) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
Airports 375 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 129

over 3,047 m: 5

2,438 to 3,047 m: 11

1,524 to 2,437 m: 34

914 to 1,523 m: 60

under 914 m: 19 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 246

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 90

under 914 m: 147 (2006)
Area total: 912,050 sq km

land: 882,050 sq km

water: 30,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than twice the size of California
Background Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). 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. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, has promoted a controversial policy of "democratic socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking globalization and undermining regional stability. 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.
Birth rate 18.71 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $39.63 billion

expenditures: $41.27 billion; including capital expenditures of $2.6 billion (2005 est.)
Capital name: Caracas

geographic coordinates: 10 30 N, 66 56 W

time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Coastline 2,800 km
Constitution 30 December 1999
Country name conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

conventional short form: Venezuela

local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela

local short form: Venezuela
Death rate 4.92 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $41.51 billion (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador William R. BROWNFIELD

embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080

mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037

telephone: [58] (212) 975-9234, 975-6411

FAX: [58] (212) 975-8991
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Bernardo ALVAREZ Herrera

chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214

FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Disputes - international claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River in Guyana, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; dispute with Colombia over Los Monjes islands and maritime boundary near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian-organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region resulting in several thousand residents migrating away from the border; US, France, and the Netherlands recognize Venezuela's claim to give full effect to Aves Island, which creates a Venezuelan EEZ/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the Caribbean Sea; Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's claim that Aves Island sustains human habitation and other states' recognition of it
Economic aid - recipient $74 million (2000)
Economy - overview Venezuela continues to be highly dependent on the petroleum sector, accounting for roughly one-third of GDP, around 80% of export earnings, and over half of government operating revenues. Government revenue also has been bolstered by increased tax collection, which has surpassed its 2005 collection goal by almost 50%. Tax revenue is the primary source of non-oil revenue, which accounts for 53% of the 2006 budget. A disastrous two-month national oil strike, from December 2002 to February 2003, temporarily halted economic activity. The economy remained in depression in 2003, declining by 9.2% after an 8.9% fall in 2002. Output recovered strongly in 2004-2005, aided by high oil prices and strong consumption growth. Venezuela continues to be an important source of crude oil for the US market. Both inflation and unemployment remain fundamental problems.
Electricity - consumption 81.32 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 87.44 billion kWh (2003)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m

highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m
Environment - current issues sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
Environment - international agreements party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed but not ratified:: none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Exchange rates bolivares per US dollar - 2,089.8 (2005), 1,891.3 (2004), 1,607 (2003), 1,161 (2002), 723.7 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL Vale (since 28 April 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL Vale (since 28 April 2002)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 3 December 2006 (next to be held December 2012)

note: in 1999, a National Constituent Assembly drafted a new constitution that increased the presidential term to six years; an election was subsequently held on 30 July 2000 under the terms of this new constitution

election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias reelected president; percent of vote - Hugo CHAVEZ Frias 63%, Manuel ROSALES 37%
Exports 0 kWh (2003)
Exports $52.73 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Exports 2.1 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities petroleum, bauxite and aluminum, steel, chemicals, agricultural products, basic manufactures
Exports - partners US 51.2%, Netherlands Antilles 7.3%, Canada 2.4% (2005)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 4%

industry: 41.9%

services: 54.1% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 9.3% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 8 00 N, 66 00 W
Geography - note on major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall
Heliports 1 (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 0.8%

highest 10%: 36.5% (1998)
Illicit drugs small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border
Imports 0 kWh (2003)
Imports $24.63 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2004 est.)
Imports NA bbl/day
Imports - commodities raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials
Imports - partners US 31.6%, Colombia 11%, Brazil 9.1%, Mexico 6.9% (2005)
Independence 5 July 1811 (from Spain)
Industrial production growth rate 7.2% (2005 est.)
Industries petroleum, construction materials, food processing, textiles; iron ore mining, steel, aluminum; motor vehicle assembly
Infant mortality rate total: 21.54 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 24.58 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.27 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 16% (2005 est.)
Irrigated land 5,750 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Tribuna Suprema de Justicia (magistrates are elected by the National Assembly for a single 12-year term)
Labor force 12.31 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 13%

industry: 23%

services: 64% (1997 est.)
Land boundaries total: 4,993 km

border countries: Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km
Land use arable land: 2.85%

permanent crops: 0.88%

other: 96.27% (2005)
Languages Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Legal system open, adversarial court system
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (167 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; three seats reserved for the indigenous peoples of Venezuela)

elections: last held 4 December 2005 (next to be held in 2010)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - pro-government 167 (MVR 114, PODEMOS 15, PPT 11, indigenous 2, other 25), opposition 0
Life expectancy at birth total population: 74.54 years

male: 71.49 years

female: 77.81 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 93.4%

male: 93.8%

female: 93.1% (2003 est.)
Location Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Map references South America
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 15 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Merchant marine total: 56 ships (1000 GRT or over) 824,941 GRT/1,327,924 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 10, chemical tanker 2, container 1, liquefied gas 6, passenger/cargo 12, petroleum tanker 18

foreign-owned: 13 (Denmark 3, Greece 3, India 1, Mexico 3, Panama 1, Russia 1, Spain 1)

registered in other countries: 15 (Bahamas 1, Panama 14) (2006)
Military branches National Armed Forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales or FAN): Ground Forces or Army (Fuerzas Terrestres or Ejercito), Naval Forces (Fuerzas Navales or Armada; includes Marines, Coast Guard), Air Force (Fuerzas Aereas or Aviacion), Armed Forces of Cooperation or National Guard (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperacion or Guardia Nacional)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $1.61 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.2% (2005 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 5 July (1811)
Nationality noun: Venezuelan(s)

adjective: Venezuelan
Natural hazards subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Pipelines extra heavy crude 992 km; gas 5,369 km; oil 7,607 km; refined products 1,681 km; unknown (oil/water) 141 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders Christian Democrats or COPEI [Eduardo FERNANDEZ]; Democratic Action or AD [Jesus MENDEZ Quijada]; Fatherland for All or PPT [Jose ALBORNOZ]; Fifth Republic Movement or MVR [Hugo CHAVEZ]; Justice First [Julio BORGES]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Hector MUJICA]; Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique SALAS Romer]; We Can or PODEMOS [Ismael GARCIA]
Political pressure groups and leaders FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; VECINOS groups; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action)
Population 25,730,435 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 47% (1998 est.)
Population growth rate 1.38% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 201, FM NA (20 in Caracas), shortwave 11 (1998)
Railways total: 682 km

standard gauge: 682 km 1.435-m gauge (2005)
Religions nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.08 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: modern and expanding

domestic: domestic satellite system with 3 earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; substantial increase in digitalization of exchanges and trunk lines; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable of digital multimedia services

international: country code - 58; 3 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber-optic network
Telephones - main lines in use 3,605,500 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 12.496 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 66 (plus 45 repeaters) (1997)
Terrain Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Total fertility rate 2.23 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 12.2% (2005 est.)
Waterways 7,100 km

note: Orinoco River and Lake de Maracaibo navigable by oceangoing vessels, Orinoco for 400 km (2005)
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