Length: 1014 words

As early as 1522 Spanish invaders reported that the Carib tribes in Venezuela
used a black, gooey substance for many purposes. The viscous material was crude
oil. It was not until the 1950s, however, that oil production began in
Venezuela. Oil accounts for a quarter of the nation’s gross domestic product and
three-quarters of export earnings, and Venezuela is South America’s leading
producer and one of the few non-Arab members of OPEC. There are also substantial
coal reserves, and exploitation of the recently discovered Guasare Basin field
is expected to add 10 million tons to annual production. The political
instability of the early 1990s shook foreign investor confidence, but Venezuela
has emphasized trade links with other South American countries. The mid- to late
1990s saw a series of public and private sector strikes for higher wages. In
addition to participation in the G-3 agreement with Mexico and Colombia,
Venezuela has a free trade agreement with Colombia and has expressed the desire
to become part of the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada,
Mexico, and the United States. The election of Hugo Chavez as president of
Venezuela raises the question of the unraveling of the political system in all
of Latin America and reveals the disillusionment some are feeling about
worsening social conditions that have not improved

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under democratically elected
governments. Venezuela began its democracy 40 years ago with an unusual pact
between the country’s principal parties that guaranteed an institutional
stability not known in the region at that time. But, at the same time, the
leaders of the country never diversified the country’s economy, instead choosing
to rely heavily on its oil revenues. As a result, the Venezuelan economy is
highly susceptible to the world market’s price fluctuations and has not
diversified enough to create jobs and allow for funds for programs of social
support to combat the rising unemployment and levels of poverty in the country.

Chavez’s victory also reflects the growing discontent with Venezuela’s
traditional political system. But it also demonstrates a phenomenon that is
happening in other parts of the continent where leaders with an authoritarian
bent are also gaining support. (Internet-Britannica) Imports: Machinery and
transportation equipment, chemicals, basic manufactures, manufactured goods,
foodstuffs, mineral fuels and lubricants, animal and vegetable oils. Total
Imports: $10,827,000,000 (1996); $11,199,000,000 (1995); $8,277,000,000 (1994).

Exports: Petroleum and refined oil products, aluminum, iron ore, bauxite, basic
manufactures, chemicals, foodstuffs, machinery and transportation equipment.

Total Exports: $23,149,000,000 (1996); $19,408,000,000 (1995); $16,560,000,000
(1994). Population: 23,242,000 (1998 estimate) Largest Cities: Bogota (capital),
Cali, and Medellin Currency: Bolivares; 100 centimos = 1 bolivar Languages:
Spanish is the official language, but Indian dialects are spoken by some of the
200,000 Indians in the remote interior region. Religion: Roman Catholic – 96%;
Protestant – 2%; other – 2%. Location: Venezuela is located on the northern
coast of South America; Colombia lies to the west, Brazil to the south, Guyana
to the east, and the Caribbean Sea to the north. National Capital: Caracas
Climate: The Venezuelan climate varies according to region, but ranges from
tropical to moderate. The rainy season lasts from May through November. The
average annual temperature in Caracas is 69 F. (internet-google) The things that
I would like to do in Venezuela would include, watching a bull fight, go
golfing, fish for peacock bass, eat a lot of good authentic food, and take a
guided tour through the amazon. One of the favorite forms of entertainment is
the “toros coleados”, where two groups of expert brave riders compete
with each other at downing a bull by catching it by the tail and throwing it to
the ground. The competition takes place in a festive atmosphere, where music is
played between bulls and abundant food and drink is served. Bullfights The
“Nuevo Circo,” in Caracas, is one of the four major bullrings in Latin
America, where bullfighters must perform in order to be fully recognized. Many
other “plazas de toros” (bullrings) are also very famous. Maracaibo,
San Cristobal, Maracay, Valencia -among others of ten feature first-class
bullfights during their festivities. It is sunshine in the afternoon at the
plaza, teeming with people and “toreros” risking their lives in front
of the bulls, accounts for an interesting experience. Venezuela has a very good
breed of fighting bulls (Taurus) and excellent “toreros”. The only
Latin American bullfighter that has been immortalized in Spain is Jose Giron
from Venezuela, who has a statue in Madrid. Giron was the first in a family of
toreros who became a dynasty and even created a style of their own. (internet-infoseek)
El Pavon, the Peacock Bass in Spanish. A bass fishermans dream come
true. Viscous hard fighting explosive fish that will tear lures apart. In the
rivers of Venezuela and in some lake the extravagant bass live. Reaching up to
twenty-seven pounds the peacock bass is the most vicious carnivorous bass in the
world. Striking foot long floating rapalas the peacock bass put on a
tremendous show for the fisherman. The green yellow and gold colors make the
bass beautiful. However when the twenty pound fish explodes out of the water
after your lure that is the true beauty of this fish. This would be the whole
reason to go to Venezuela, to catch a peacock bass. I would like to take a tour
through the rain forests down the rivers to see three toed slothes, jaguars, and
some three hundred different tropical birds. I think to take a day with a guide
into the rainforest would be an extreme high of the trip. To see all of those
species, and awesome beauty. I would love to visit Venezuela. Golfing in
Venezuela would be another extravagant adventure. The hot weather, tropical
atmosphere, and the fun of it. I love to golf; to me it is the most fun I could
have. So playing in foreign lands would be really awesome. Venezuela has one of
the highest standards of living in South America. This makes it more inviting to
me; I wouldnt be going to a scrubby third world country. I like the idea
because I dont feel in danger if I went. I wouldnt mind the visit to
Venezuela; I would feel safe and comfortable. It really appeals to me to go to
Venezuela; I think it would be nice. The transportation ways are good. You
wouldnt have any trouble getting around, and that is what you get when you
have one of the highest GNPs in South America. I would love to visit
Venezuela, it appeals to me like a paradise, and I like the idea of comfort. The
high class of living is very appealing. I am telling you this is the place for

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