Embajada de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela en El Líbano

سفارة الجمهورية البوليفارية الفنزويلية في لبنان




Venezuela : General Information.









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Map of Venezuela



 Venezuela is located in the American continent, at the northern part of South America, between latitudes 0°38'53" (Birth of the Arari river in the Amazons state) and 12°11'46" (Cabo San Román - Falcón state) or 15°40'33" (Isla Aves - Territorios Insulares) longitudes 58°10'00" (Western part of the Esequibo river in the Guayana Esequiba) and 73°25'00" (Birth of Río Intermedio - Zulia state). It has borders with Colombia to the West, Brazil to the South and Guyana to the East. To the North of the country is the Caribbean sea.  


 Venezuela has a territory of 916.445 km2, and is divided in 23 states and a Federal District.

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 Venezuela has a population of 23.4 million inhabitants (2000) of whom 85% lives in cities. This population is very young: 37% is less than 15 years old and 65% less than 30 years old. The growth of the population is very strong with a birth rate of 25.7 per one thousand, and a low mortality of 25.7 per one thousand. It is estimated that in the year 2000, Venezuela has 24 million inhabitants and in year 2010, 29 million. As a result, population doubles each 33 years.

Venezuela is a country of immigrants. As a matter of fact, only 2% of its population is Indian (native). The predominant ethnic group is the "mestizo" (mixture of European, African and Indian), and constitutes 69% of the population. Whites count for 20% and black for 9%. Since 1948, with the oil boom, there was an estimated of one million inmigrants from Spain, Italy and Portugal. Also a great number of Colombian arrived. Starting in 1958, a great number of Venezuelans moved from the country side to the city, and where replaced by Colombians. There was also a great professional immigration from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, where the economic and political situation was not favorable. Later, the immigration - less prepared - from Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, continued with an estimated number of 2 million.

The Indian population is quite small, and is found mainly in the Guayana region and the Goajira peninsula, west of Lake Maracaibo.

Main cities (1990): Caracas 1,822,465; Maracaibo 1,249,670; Valencia 903,621; Barquisimeto 625,450; Ciudad Guayana 453,047.


 Venezuelan constitution is very recent. It was prepared in 1999 and ratified by a national referendum in December 1999, with close to 70% of the votes. It specifies that government has 5 powers: the traditional: Legislative, Judiciary and Executive, and also the electoral and moral powers.  Elections for the presidency and for the congress are popular and realized each 6 years. Congress is unicameral.

Executive power is in hands of a president (who is also the chief commander of the armed forces), and who names the vice-president, a new figure in the 1999 constitution. President can be reelected for another 6 year period. The main traditional parties Accion Democratica and Copei, virtually disappeared in 1998 giving place to president's Chavez'  Movimiento V Republica, and supported by Movimiento al socialismo (Movement towards socialism) and Patria para Todos  (links in Spanish).

Each state is headed by a governor who gets elected in popular elections. Each state has its own Legislative Chamber.


 Main religion is catholic (92.1%). Freedom of choice is warranted by constitution.


 Venezuela was discovered by Columbus in his third voyage in 1498. Independence started in 1810 and ended with the Carabobo battle in 1821, under the command of Simon Bolivar (The liberator) who died in 1830. From 1930 to 1958 there was a succession of constitutions, elected and non-elected presidents, until the democratic period which dates from 1958.

Link to Venezuelan history


 The most important industry in Venezuela is Oil. Up to 1970, Venezuela was the world's major exporter. It also has other minerals.

In the following link we show the Inflation index (IPC) and the exchange rate Bs to Dollars

5000 Bolivars bill

For a currency converter, click here


 Primary education in Venezuela is free and compulsory, however, private schools play a very important role and complement public schools.

Among the main universities are: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Universidad Simón Rodríguez, Universidad del Zulia, Universidad de Los Andes, Universidad de Carabobo and Universidad de Oriente; and among private: Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Universidad Metropolitana, Universidad Santa María, Universidad Nueva Esparta. For a more detailed list we offer the following links: 


A very well renowned institution is the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración IESA, with management graduate studies and is one of the countries main "think tank".


        ·         Roads(1997): 96,500 km of which 32% are paved

·         Vehicles (1993): Passengers 1,507,309
Trucks and buses 474,466

·         Marine (1992): Ships (over 100 tons) 271; Total tones 1,355,419

·         Air Transportation (1993): Passengers-km 6,708,000,000; Tones-km cargo 149,000,000. Airports with scheduled trips: 24 (1996)

·         Railroads (1997): 584 km

·         Newspapers (1992): total number 82; circulation 4,200,000; circulation per 1,000 inhabitants 208. Most important national newspapers: El Nacional, y El Universal

·         Radio (1997): 10,750,000 receivers

·         Television (1997): 4,100,000 receivers

·         Telephones (main lines; 1998): 2,600,000 (1 per 10 persons). 

·         Cellular communications: 4 million lines (Estim. 2000) with three suppliers: Telcel, Movilnet and Digitel


 Venezuela has a great variety of food. For more details, click here (Spanish).

Venezuela: Gateway to Latin America

Venezuela, strategically situated on the northern part of the South American continent, with coasts on the Atlantic ocean, on the Caribbean sea and boundaries with Brazil to the south, Colombia to the west and Guyana to the east, is a truly gateway to Latin America. Due to its location, the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, has become an important air transport hub in the Western Hemisphere, with daily connections to any part of the Americas as well as Europe.

Venezuela: Its Distinctive Geography

Stretched over 916.000 sq. km, Venezuela is a tropical country that embraces a great variety of natural landscapes, climate and vegetation. Despite its tropical condition, the temperatures vary considerably according to the altitude. Below 800 m., they range form 24ºC to 40ºC; while in zones from 800 to 2000 m., temperatures oscillate from 16ºC to 33ºC. The coldest temperatures are found in Andean mountains, where they can fall bellow freezing over 3.500 meters over sea level.

The country contains several natural regions: the Andean higher mountains zone which runs in a broad arc from the south west to the north east; the lowlands around the Lake of Maracaibo; the vast central plains called "llanos"; the extended Guayana highlands, "tepuyes", in the south and south east, and finally the coast of the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea.

Due to its great variety of landscapes, climate and vegetation cover, among many other characteristics, Venezuela owes many natural beauties, which are very much appreciate all over the world.

Venezuela: Its Outstanding Natural Resources

Nobody doubt  the Venezuelan wealth in natural resources, which represent a real source for its economical growth. The wealthiness of Venezuela, for instance, in oil, gas, iron ore, coal, bauxite, gold, as well as in water, timber wood, soils and many other natural resources is very well known.

Oil and Oil Industry

Venezuela’s extensive resource base includes proven crude oil reserves in 76.000 million barrels, the largest outside the Middle East and the sixth largest in the world. About 58% of the total oil reserve is heavy and extra-heavy crude oil located in the Orinoco Strip, which a large quantity is economically recoverable using existing technology. Combined conventional reserves and the Orinoco Strip, Venezuela has the largest hydrocarbon reserves in the world.

In addition, the nation’s natural gas reserves total over 4 trillion cubic meters (14 trillion MT).

Production capacity, excluding that of the Orinoco Strip associations, was placed in 2000 at 3.500.000 barrels per day.

The oil industry is the engine that pulls the entire Venezuelan economy. "Petróleos de Venezuela" (PDVSA) the country’s national company which rules the industry is, in fact, the world’s third largest oil company, having a modern production and refining infrastructure with a first-class professional and technical staff. About 23% of the GDP of the Venezuela stems directly from oil and when it takes into account the chain effects, that figure jumps up to 40%. As one of the founding members of the organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and strong producer, Venezuela has ever been one of the leaders of OPEC.

Petroleum and associate products continue to fuel the Venezuelan economy representing about 70% of the country’s exports. Venezuela is the United States fourth supplier of oil, it means 13% of the total oil import of USA. In 1999 sales of crude in the international market reached 2.785.000 per day, representing together with associate products a total of 2.403 million of US$.

Very important is to say that Venezuela opened its door to foreign participations in its petroleum industry since 1992 and today the so called "The Aperture Process "has widened to include all sectors of the Venezuela’s oil business.

One of the most successful results of the Venezuelan oil technology is Orimulsion a liquid coal substitute made from a heavy oil/water mix that studies have shown is cleaner that other fuels now selling in several countries as Italy, China and other.

The country’s reserve in natural gas are extensive. Proven reserves totalled more than 5.000 trillion cubic meters. The present reserves are equivalent to about 25.000 million barrels of oil. Venezuela currently ranked among the top 10 countries with natural gas reserves. Average natural gas daily production is over 180.000 barrels. Exports are increasingly. In 1999 a total of 5.685 billion cubic feet of methane gas was produced.

Iron ore

As said , other mineral resources abound in the Venezuelan territory. It’s the case of iron ore, which the country has huge reserves. Proven reserves of iron ore has been estimated over 2 billion MT, mostly located in Guayana region (Bolivar State). The company charge of tapping Venezuela’s rich iron ore is "Ferrominera del Orinoco", a subsidiary of strong company Corporación Venezolana de Guayana. Venezuela is the world’s eighth largest producer of iron ore, with an output of more than 20 million MT per annum of which 65% is sold to customers in USA, Europe and Japan. Several foreign investors are associated to CVG in the iron ore business sector.


Since 1987 the production of bauxite has steadily grown. By 1995 production achieved a record of 5 million MT, from over 4 billion MT of bauxite reserves the country has in the Guayana region. The Los Pijiguaos, the most important mine has approximately 168 million MT of proven reserves.


Venezuela is South’s America third-largest coal producer, following only Colombia and Brazil and that is the reason why Venezuela’s Coal industry is growing quickly. Almost 20 million MT of coal was produced in 1999. Venezuela has massive potential as coal producer country, with more than 1200 billion MT of proven reserves in addition to the recognized quality of Venezuelan coal in the world markets due to its low sulphur, moisture and high heat yield. Venezuela’s coal fields are mainly located in the states of Zulia, Tachira, falcon and Anzoategui being in Zulia where are the principal fields.


Venezuela has abound proven reserves of gold, located in the Guayana shield, south of the country. Gold reserves of more than 10.000 metric tons are estimated to represent more than 12% of the entire world known gold reserves.

Running Water

Venezuela has been blessed with abundant running water from its many big rivers. This reason explain why the country has an appreciate hydroelectric power today, and a huge potential for electrical energy as well as for irrigation systems.

Venezuela: A Young Country

Venezuela is, in fact, an overwhelming young country, with about 64% of its population under the age of 25, more than 90% of the country’s 22 million population is literate and nearly 40% Venezuela’s workforce has completed secondary school. The country also boast a well trained pool of professionals and technicians educated inside and overseas. Venezuela today’s population is the result of a multi-ethnic mixture of European, African and native American bloodlines. Above 65% is of mixed native and European migrant people settled in the country particularly after the end of the World War II. Roughly 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Spanish is the Venezuelan official language and English the second one taught at different levels of its education system.


Genral Information Links


VENEZUELA http://www.venezuela.gov.ve

» Venezuela's Web Server http://venezuela.mit.edu
» Venezuela Information http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/inatl/longterm/worldref/country/venezuel.htm
» Infoguia http://www.infoguia.net

Venezuela on Line http://www.venezuelaonline.com


Central Office of Statistic and  Information (OCEI) http://www.ocei.gov.ve


Auyantepui http://www.auyantepui.com


Bancoex http://www.bancoex.com


Club de Amigos de Venezuela en Australia http://www.venezuelasamigoclub.com



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