Venezuela: population, area, capital, economy
The continent, where Venezuela is located, is traditionally subject to socialist ideas. It concerns the economy, and public life, and even religion. The Bolivarian Republic has not only not been an exception to this rule, but has shown with the greatest clarity to the whole world, to what extremes the state’s desire to control the economy and private life of people can reach.
The Venezuelan economy’s problems began in the days of the previous president, Hugo Chávez, but oil was then more expensive and not all market mechanisms were completely and irrevocably destroyed. These difficulties began after the death of a staunch enemy of the United States, at the same time there was a sharp collapse in oil prices - the main source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.
Geography. Where is Venezuela
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, namely, this country is officially called, is located in the northeast of South America and is washed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. In the ocean are the islands of Venezuela, with no resident population.Some territories, among other things, are controversial, as, for example, the island of Ancock, claimed by Guyana.
The climate in this region is more than favorable and overshadowed only by rare hurricanes coming from the center of the Atlantic. Despite the fact that such hurricanes are quite devastating, they spend the main force on the islands of the Caribbean Sea, which take the heaviest blow of the elements.
The republic has maritime borders with Trinidad and Tobago, and on land it borders with Brazil, Colombia and Guyana. With the exception of Brazil, almost all the neighbors of Venezuela are not economically stable, and some, such as Colombia, also have serious problems with crime.
Almost all the countries of Latin America have serious social problems, which from time to time result in unrest. In Venezuela, they began to happen more and more often until they acquired the character of a protracted uprising, on which many international observers pinned great hopes, believing that it could spare the country from the power of another little leader in the economy.
Natural wealth of the country
However, despite the numerous political upheavals, Venezuela still remains one of the most beautiful countries in both Americas, and its natural wealth inspires genuine admiration.
On the territory of the country there is a national park, which occupies the sixth line in the ranking of the largest world reserves. Canaima is located in the southeastern part of the country on the ocean, in close proximity to the state border with Brazil and Guyana.
The main attractions of the park are the so-called tepui - mountains with flat peaks resembling a plateau. There are three such flat-topped mountains in the park, and it is because of them that this natural landscape was included in the list of specially protected objects of UNESCO.
In Canaima, there is the world famous Angel Falls. This is the highest and perhaps the most picturesque waterfall in the world. Its stream collapses from a height of 70 meters, from the top of the park’s second largest tepui, called Auyang-Tepui.
Like other Latin American countries, Venezuela boasts a huge variety of landscapes, heights and precipitation falling in a particular region of the country, whose area exceeds 916,000 square kilometers.
Nearly three-quarters of the country’s territory is influenced by the rainy season from May to the end of October. The composition of the flora is dramatically different if you move from the northern coastal areas inland, where the relative average temperature decreases with increasing altitudes.
In some mountainous areas, the climate is so harsh that it makes farming impossible, so the main agricultural regions do not rise above 600 meters above sea level.
The country cultivates various types of legumes, cereals, maize, sugarcane and coffee tree, produces some animal products, such as wool and milk.
In the south of the country, in its flat part, the climate is almost completely identical to the Amazonian one, which is characterized by muddy vegetation and a large variety of local fauna. The Orinoco River nourishes all this wealth, which throughout its entire flow hardly goes beyond the state borders. Three quarters of the country's territory serves as a drainage basin for this mighty river.
Although the authorities of the country are betting on oil as a source of wealth, it is necessary to recognize that this rate did not prove advantageous.Meanwhile, the country's climate is conducive to farming, and the example of Argentina and Brazil shows that in those latitudes one can not only produce enough food for one’s own population, but also feed several other countries.
For example, the so-called Green Revolution in Brazil brought the country to the first places in the world among livestock producers, and meat produced in Argentina can be found on counters all over the world.
Capital of venezuela
Caracas is one of the most picturesque cities in the country, however, the picturesque architecture of this city gives it not only amazing beauty of colonial architecture, but also urban slums, because the population of Venezuela is not the most secure in South America.
And if the Venezuelans inherited the colonial architecture from the Spanish conquistadors, the first of whom appeared in those parts was Diego De Lozada, the slums were the result of ill-conceived economic policies, which were based on closeness from foreign markets and widespread police control.
Despite its apparent poverty, Caracas is the most affluent city in the country,as the capital of Venezuela receives supplies of at least a minimum set of products and essential goods.
Economic policy failure
According to authorities, the country produces more oil than Saudi Arabia, and it is possible that this is true. However, this does not save the people of Venezuela from hunger and the lack of essential goods such as toilet paper and foreign medicines, not to mention household appliances and sophisticated electronics.
It seems surprising that a country in which three quarters of the population have lost weight due to lack of food stubbornly votes for representatives of such an unfortunate regime. However, the fact remains: the most loyal supporters of the current president are the poorest members of the Venezuelan population, that is, those who suffer the most, because officials and their families have access to basic resources and mechanisms for distributing oil revenues.
In addition to oil, high-ranking officials are actively making money on the difference between the official dollar rate and its value on the black market. Import of scarce goods is also of interest to corrupt officials.
Elections and rigging
As already mentioned, the region where Venezuela is located is not politically stable, and some segments of the population, mainly students, are not ready to put up with the existing order of things.
A natural way to change the government in any democratic country is direct democratic elections held in compliance with all standards recognized everywhere. However, the Venezuelan authorities do not consider themselves obliged to ensure a fair vote and an honest count of ballots after the elections. It is in this way that the current President Maduro has managed to remain in power, despite the increasingly crowded riots in Venezuela.
In 2017, protests in the country became ominous, reaching a scale at which human sacrifices became inevitable, the number of which in four months reached one hundred.
However, one should not expect from the rulers of indulgence, because tightening the screws is almost the only way to keep power and access to the state budget in one's hands. While the government is engaged in suppressing the just anger of citizens, the economy is plunging into the midst of a serious crisis, and per capita income has already dropped to the level of 1950.
Demographics and economics
The vast majority of the population of Venezuela - some experts say about 93% - live in cities. And this means that a very small number of people from almost thirty million people have the opportunity to produce at least some kind of food.
The population of the country grew in leaps and bounds over the past two hundred years. If at the beginning of the nineteenth century the population was about seven hundred thousand people, then in 1920 it reached two million, and at the beginning of the XXl century already twenty.
Over seventeen years, the population increased by ten million people, and with it increased urban poverty, slums around Caracas and crime in the poorest areas, deprived of access to basic social benefits, grew.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of the country are descendants of the Spaniards, the Portuguese and the indigenous population.
Inflation and the dollar
Not distinguished by competence in economic matters, Nicolas Maduro offers far from the most effective ways to overcome poverty and plug holes in a plundered budget. One of the most favorite ways of economic incentives for the president is the printing of paper money.Such a strange way of rectifying cases has already led to the fact that inflation in the country has exceeded 1000% per year and does not plan to stop.
However, the point is not so much that the prices of products are high, but the fact that there are simply no products. They are not in the markets or in stores. They are on the black market, which is controlled by representatives of the state apparatus and police officials, but the prices are so high that only other officials can buy them. Not surprisingly, almost 20% of the population said in a sociological survey that they could not even buy basic foods. But there is also a special food, and food for children. Thus, the illiterate economic policy of the ruling class threatens the health and the very life of the people.
As for the dollar, it is on the black market nine hundred times more expensive than the financial management of the country. Oddly enough, the same officials are engaged in dollar trading.
Despite the plight of the country of Venezuela and its citizens, some European experts consider this experiment a successful application of the "Bolivarian doctrine of social justice".For example, this idea is supported by one of the leaders of the Left British Movement, Jeremy Corbin, who prefers not to notice that tens of thousands of citizens fled to neighboring countries, and those that remained could not buy bread and milk.
At first glance, it may seem that there is no prospect of defeating the corrupt regime. However, analysts from international research centers argue that the political scene in Venezuela has the potential to create an alliance of multidirectional forces that are nonetheless interested in changing the government in the most peaceful way possible.
Obviously, the authorities will not surrender their seats without a fight, but the opposition will probably show more firmness in defending popular interests.
Isolation as a way to save power
Venezuela is recognized by all as the most closed country on the continent, because huge duties, excessive regulation of economic relations and the absence of a number of important industries in the country make the republic quite vulnerable to international intervention, fearing which, it is even more closed.
The vast majority of political figures in Venezuela live in constant fear of international interference in the internal affairs of the country. They are particularly concerned about the position of the United States, to which the Bolivarian Republic owes several billion dollars.
At the moment, due to the inability to pay the debts, the country was in a state of bankruptcy and can no longer borrow on the international financial market. However, economic isolation allows the authorities to more and more intensify the topic of foreign enemies.