Venezuela’s history

Brief history of Venezuela summarized

A brief overview of the history of Venezuela summarized, country of the American continent.

Venezuela in its beginnings

For centuries the indigenous peoples of Venezuela lived from agriculture, but also from hunting and fishing. Then, in 1498, Christopher Columbus became the first European to reach Venezuela. In 1499 a Spaniard named Alonso de Ojeda led another expedition to the area.

He named it Venezuela, meaning little Venice, after seeing huts on stilts. The Spanish founded their first city in Venezuela in 1521. They also began importing African slaves. However, Venezuela was relatively unimportant to the Spanish.

On July 5, 1811, a national assembly declared the independence of Venezuela. However, it was short lived. After a year, the Spanish forces were back in control. Venezuela was finally liberated by Simón Bolívar in 1821.

Originally, Venezuela joined Colombia and Ecuador as part of a state called Gran Colombia. However, Gran Colombia soon dissolved and Venezuela became fully independent in 1830.

During the 19th century Venezuela was ruled by military dictators called Caudillos. The first was José Antonio Páez. He ruled Venezuela until 1848. Venezuela then suffered civil wars. General Antonio Guzmán Blanco was a caudillo between 1870 and 1888 and restored order.

However, in 1902 Venezuela failed to pay the interest on loans from Great Britain, Germany and Italy. As a result, those three nations sent their navies to blockade Venezuelan ports. However, in 1914 oil was discovered in Venezuela. Oil became Venezuela’s most important export.

Then, in 1945, a dictator was overthrown and the interim government promised to hold elections. A new constitution was introduced in Venezuela in 1947 and elections were held. However, in 1948 a coup d’état took place. Marcos Pérez Jiménez became dictator of Venezuela. He was overthrown in turn in 1958.

Venezuela today

After 1958 Venezuela became a democracy. However, in 1998 Hugo Chávez was elected president. Chavez introduced a leftist regime in Venezuela. Chávez was re-elected in 2006. He allied Venezuela with Cuba. However, Chávez died in 2013. He was replaced by Nicolás Maduro.

The current population of Venezuela is 32 million inhabitants. Today Venezuela relies heavily on oil revenues, but poverty persists. 2016 Venezuela suffered a very high rate of inflation and the economy contracted. There are also shortages of consumer goods and medicines.

Venezuela also suffers from a very high crime rate. It is no wonder that Venezuela has suffered a “brain drain” in recent years, as many wealthy people have fled abroad. In 2017 there were many protests in Venezuela. Today the economic crisis continues.

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