News Daily Spot: Venezuela, the socialist oil country voting under a severe economic crisis

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Venezuela, the socialist oil country voting under a severe economic crisis

Venezuela, the country with the largest oil reserves in the world, on Sunday to elect 167 deputies in the parliamentary elections, amid one of the worst economic crises in its history.

- GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Bordered by Colombia, Brazil and Guyana. Resident of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Sea.

- Extension: 916,445 km2.

- POPULATION: 30,620,404 (Census 2011).

- Ethnic groups: Arawak, Bari, Carina, Guajira, Warao, Pemón, Yanonami, Yucpa.

- Administrative divisions: 23 states and the Capital District, Caracas with 3.2 million inhabitants.

- OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Spanish and several indigenous languages.

- Religion: 71% Catholic, 17% evangelicals and other Christians.

- Illiteracy: less than 5%.

- GOVERNMENT: The president is elected every six years, and the National Assembly (unicameral, 167 deputies) five. Nicolas Maduro is the current president.

- HISTORY: Venezuela was discovered in 1498 by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to America. It declared independence from Spain in 1810 from the hand of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, and contributed to the independence of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama.

After a long period of civil wars, uprisings and coups in the nineteenth century, Venezuela enters the twentieth century with the exploitation of the first oil wells that transformed a formerly purely agricultural and rural country.

In the first half of the twentieth century, living under various military governments. The overthrow of dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez in 1958 ushered in democracy, with four decades of dominance of the Social Democratic and Christian Social bipartisanship, which lost its hegemony in a severe political and socio-economic crisis in the 90s.

In 1992, Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez Army attempts a coup, he was imprisoned and later freed by a presidential pardon. Chavez came to power in 1999 through elections and established a socialist revolution, which polarized the country. He obtained indisputable electoral victories in 2006 and 2012, and died in March 2013. His political heir, Maduro, elected in April 2013, ruling amid one of the worst economic crisis experienced by the country after the collapse of prices oil.

- ECONOMY: Venezuela is an oil economy with an almost exclusive dependence on oil. It has proven reserves by nearly 300,000 million barrels, mostly heavy and extra-heavy oil reserves.

2.68 million barrels a day of oil, and export of around 2 million barrels are produced, it provides 96% of foreign exchange that gets the country.

Iron, gold, nickel, aluminum and carbon are also produced.

Inflation: 85% (government) and 205% (private consultants).

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): 510,000 million

Public fiscal deficit: 19.6% of GDP.

GDP growth: -6.7% (ECLAC estimated)

Per capita income: $ 17,000

Poverty: 32.1% (2013)

Extreme poverty (4.9%) (2015)

Unemployment: 7.9% (January 2015)

Minimum wage: 9,600 bolivars ($ 11 at the black market rate, $ 48 at official rate 199 bs / dollar, $ 1,530 at the official rate 6.30 bs / dollar).

Foreign reserves: 14.834 million dollars (11/2015)

Scarcity index: 59% (2015, private consultants)

- NATIONAL POLICE: 15,000 but each state has its own police force, as well as many municipalities.

- Army: 165,000 troops, another 25,000 in reserve and thousands of militia.

- HOMICIDE RATE: 62 per 100,000 inhabitants (2014).


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