Venezuela (capital Caracas) and neighboring states
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook (2010): " Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for roughly 95% of export earnings, about 40% of federal budget revenues, and around 12% of GDP. Fueled by high oil prices, record government spending helped to boost GDP growth by about 4.2% in 2011, after a sharp drop in oil prices caused an economic contraction in 2009-10. Government spending, minimum wage hikes, and improved access to domestic credit created an increase in consumption which combined with supply problems to cause higher inflation - roughly 28% in 2011. President Hugo CHAVEZ's efforts to increase the government's control of the economy by nationalizing firms in the agribusiness, financial, construction, oil, and steel sectors have hurt the private investment environment, reduced productive capacity, and slowed non-petroleum exports."
Economic growth rate
2010: minus 1.5%
2009: minus 3.2%
2011: 36.3% of GDP
2009: 1.871 million barrels per day. (ranks 12th)
2011: exports about twice imports in cash value
2010: US 38.7%, China 7.7%, India 4.8%, Cuba 4.1%
Income Distribution – gini index
Ranks 71st among 140 countries (higher rank number is more equal, lower rank number is less equal). Less equal than Britain, which ranks 94th, and more equal than the US, which ranks 45th.
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Living in an urban area
World Factbook (2012): "Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people"
World Factbook (2012): "nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%"
Net migration rate
Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2003: males 93.8 percent, females 93.1 percent
Between Colombia and Guyana. 2,800 kilometers of coastline along the Caribbean Sea. Slightly more than twice the size of California.
Chief of state and head of government: Hugo Chávez (president) since 2 February 1999, Roman Catholic, United Socialist Party (leftist).
A federated republic. Presidents elected by popular vote to a six-year term. Unicameral legislature with 165 seats, its members elected by popular vote to five-year terms.
Independence from Spain in 1811. Separated from Colombia and Bolivia in 1830.
Hugo Chavez was elected to a first term that began on February 2, 1999. A presidential recall vote on 15 August 2004 resulted in Chavez winning with 58 percent of the vote, leaving President Chavez in office for the remaining two years of his term. He was reelected in 2006.
November 13, 2010: Venezuela has a rapid growth in population. The Caracas metro was designed to carry 600,000 persons per day. It now carries 1.3 persons per day. The metro opened in 1983 and at that time it was a source of national pride. Now with too many people and delays there is a protest. Thirty-three are arrested. The BBC writes that, "The arrests were the culmination of several weeks of growing anger among commuters in Caracas over the state of the metro system. A lawyer acting for the protesters said they were simply angry at having to wait around 40 minutes for a train, only to be told that they could not board the one which eventually arrived."
October 2011: President Hugo Chávez has described the reason for military intervention in Libya as a plot to take over Libya's wealth, and he claims that the same imperialist tactics are being exercised in Syria. He joins Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia in communicating his support for Syria's Assad regime.
March 5, 2013: President Hugo Chávez dies of cancer. Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research describes him as having "reduced poverty by half and extreme poverty by 70 percent." Weisbrot writes that, "Millions of people also got access to health care for the first time, and access to education also increased sharply, with college enrollment doubling and free tuition for many. Eligibility for public pensions tripled."
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