Venezuela

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Venezuela i/ˌvɛnɨˈzweɪlə/ (Spanish: [be̞ne̞ˈswe̞la]), officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a tropical country on the northern coastof South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Its northern coastline of roughly 2,800 kilometres (1,700 mi) includes numerous islands in theCaribbean Sea, and in the north east borders the northern Atlantic Ocean. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba and the Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelancoast. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 square kilometres (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population of 29,105,632. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, withhabitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522, overcoming resistance from indigenous peoples. It became the first Spanish American colony to declare independence (in 1811), but did not securely establishindependence until 1821 (initially as a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia, gaining full independence in 1830). During the 19th century Venezuela suffered political turmoil anddictatorship, and it was dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) into the 20th century. It first saw democratic rule from 1945 to 1948, and after a period of dictatorship has remained democraticsince 1958, during which time most countries of Latin America suffered one or more military dictatorships. Economic crisis in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis which saw hundreds dead inthe Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of funds in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw...
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