|Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela|
República Bolivariana de Venezuela
and largest city
|Recognized national languages||26 indigenous languages|
• 2018 estimate
Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, sharing borders on the west with Colombia, Brazil to the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the northeast, and to the east with Guyana. It consists of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea.
Venezuela has been the target of hostility from the US imperialists due to its significant reserves of oil, as well as its recent trend of electing left-leaning progressive governments which prioritize social programs and the implementation of what some observers describe as Socialism of the 21st century. In 1960, Venezuela produced 30% of the world's oil.:184
Under the anti-imperialist government of Hugo Chávez, unemployment decreased by almost half, GDP per capita more than doubled, infant mortality decreased, and extreme poverty dropped from 23.4% to 8.5%.
In 1895, a boundary dispute between Venezuela and Britain emerged. The United States asserted the imperialist Monroe Doctrine, which considers the Americas to be territory for colonization by the USA rather than colonization by Europe, causing Britain to back down in the dispute. The affair was an early instance of the Monroe Doctrine being invoked and the U.S. asserting itself as an imperial power.
During the Dutch-Venezuelan crisis of 1908, the U.S. Navy helped Venezuelan Vice President Juan Vicente Gomez seize power in a coup. Gomez endeared himself to Washington and Wall Street by granting highly lucrative concessions to foreign oil companies including Standard Oil (ExxonMobil today) and Royal Dutch Shell.
Fourth Republic (1953–1999)
Oil production increased after Mexico nationalized its oil in 1938, doubling in the 1950s. The dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, who ruled from 1952 to 1958, used oil revenues to fund construction projects that did not help the workers. In 1958, a new progressive government led by the Democratic Action party planned to nationalize the oil industry.:176–9 Juan Pérez helped establish OPEC in 1960.:184
Carlos Andrés Pérez ruled Venezuela from 1974 to 1979 and again from 1989 to 1993. He implemented the neoliberal Great Turnaround in 1989, causing mass protests. His successor, Rafael Caldera, continued neoliberal rule and allowed foreign imperialists to own the economy. In 1992, Hugo Chávez and the MBR-200 attempted to overthrow the neoliberal government and start a revolution.
Bolivarian government (1999–present)
The Bolivarian Revolution refers to a left-wing populist social movement and political process in Venezuela led by Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez who founded the Fifth Republic Movement and later the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The "Bolivarian Revolution" is named after Simón Bolívar, an early 19th-century Venezuelan and Latin American revolutionary leader. According to Chávez and other supporters, the "Bolivarian Revolution" seeks to build a mass movement to implement Bolivarianism—popular democracy, economic independence, equitable distribution of revenues, and an end to political corruption—in Venezuela. They interpret Bolívar's ideas from a populist perspective, using socialist rhetoric.
In 2004, Venezuela began the National System of Missions to address poverty, illiteracy, and health and housing problems. It also formed the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America with Cuba. The Venezuelan and Cuban governments also teamed up for Operation Miracle, which provided treatment for people with eye problems in the Global South. The Great Housing Mission Venezuela has constructed over 4.2 million homes for poor and working class Venezuelans, with a goal of 5 million by 2025. In 2006, construction began on a planned socialist community, Ciudad Caribia, which was the brainchild of Chávez.
On March 5, 2013, Chávez died after 14 years in office. His vice president Nicolás Maduro took over the office of the presidency.
The US maintains a blockade against Venezuela to try to strangle their independent economy. In August of 2021, Peru announced it would no longer participate in the blockade. The blockade against Venezuela even negatively affects US businesses and has caused 40,000 deaths due to lack of food and medicine. Venezuelan capitalists have burned food and buried it underground. Despite this, Venezuela's malnutrition rate has decreased from 13.2% in 2001 to 8.2% in 2017.
Despite their elections being declared democratic by the US-based Carter Center, and not having the death penalty, the US media insists that Venezuela is a dictatorship with no regard for human rights, thus trying to lay the groundwork for "humanitarian interventions"
Despite attempts at economic isolation, the US was forced to re-engage the Venezuelan economy for its oil.
On March 17, 2022, President Maduro announced a new social media app called Ven App which will be used as a means of direct communication with the government, in an effort to help the government reach citizens with better services. It has been inspired by Russia's VK and China's WeChat.
US coup attempts
Shortly after the drone attack [on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on August 4, 2018], during an unrelated meeting on August 15, Venezuela came up, and Trump said to me emphatically, “Get it done," meaning get rid of the Maduro regime. “This is the fifth time I've asked for it,” he continued. [...] Trump insisted he wanted military options for Venezuela and then keep it because “it's really part of the United States.”
In early 2019, the United States began an embargo of Venezuela's oil industry, the most important sector of its economy.
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