Lying on the southern shores of the Caribbean, Venezuela was the first of Spain’s colonies to seek independence. Despite large oil reserves, many Venezuelans still live in poverty.


Andes Mountains and the Maracaibo lowlands in the northwest. 

Central grassy plains are drained by the Orinoco River system. 

Forested Guiana Highlands in the southeast.



Hot and humid. 

Uplands are cooler. 

Orinoco plains are alternately parched or flooded.

People & Society:

Venezuela is historically a “melting pot,” with immigrants from Europe and all over Latin America. 

The few indigenous Amerindians live in remote areas. 

Venezuela has one of the most urbanized societies in the region, with most of its population living in the northern cities.


Oil accounts for 95% of exports. 

Reserves of coal, gold, other minerals. 

Nationalization program is enlarging the inefficient, corruption-prone state sector and deterring foreign investors.