Venezuela Population: 30,912,302

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 History
Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. At the same time, democratic institutions have deteriorated, threats to freedom of expression have increased, and political polarization has grown. The ruling party's economic policies have expanded the state's role in the economy through expropriations of major enterprises, strict currency exchange and price controls that discourage private sector investment and production, and overdependence on the petroleum industry for revenues, among others. Current concerns include: an increasingly politicized military, rampant violent crime, high inflation, and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods, medicine, and medical supplies.

 Geography
On major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall
Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana
Geographic coordinates: 8 00 N, 66 00 W
Area: total: 912,050 sq km
land: 882,050 sq km
water: 30,000 sq km

Size comparison: almost six times the size of Georgia; slightly more than twice the size of California
Land Boundaries: total: 5,267 km border countries (3): Brazil 2,137 km, Colombia 2,341 km, Guyana 789 km
Coastline: 2,800 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 15 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Terrain: Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
Land use: agricultural land: 24.5% arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 20.6% forest: 52.1%
other: 23.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 10,550 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
Current Environment Issues: sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
International Environment Agreements: party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands signed but not ratified:: none of the selected agreements
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 People
Nationality: noun: Venezuelan(s)
adjective: Venezuelan
Ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people
Languages: Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects
Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Population: 30,912,302 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.68% (male 4,385,415/female 4,170,160)
15-24 years: 17.27% (male 2,709,359/female 2,629,097)
25-54 years: 40.4% (male 6,182,604/female 6,304,876)
55-64 years: 7.84% (male 1,162,400/female 1,260,451)
65 years and over: 6.82% (male 952,627/female 1,155,313) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 52.4%
youth dependency ratio: 42.8%
elderly dependency ratio: 9.5%
potential support ratio: 10.5% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 28 years
male: 27.3 years
female: 28.7 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.28% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 19.2 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 5.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 89% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: CARACAS (capital) 2.916 million; Maracaibo 2.196 million; Valencia 1.734 million; Maracay 1.166 million; Barquisimeto 1.039 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 95 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 12.5 deaths/1,000 live births male: 13.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.8 years male: 72.7 years
female: 78.9 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.35 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Health expenditures: 5.3% of GDP (2014)
Hospital bed density: 0.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95% of population
rural: 77.9% of population
total: 93.1% of population

unimproved:
urban: 5% of population
rural: 22.1% of population
total: 6.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 69.9% of population
total: 94.4% of population

unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 30.1% of population
total: 5.6% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.55% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 107,300 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 3,300 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 24.3% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 2.9% (2009)
Education expenditures: 6.9% of GDP (2009)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.3%
male: 96.4%
female: 96.2% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: NA
female: NA (2009)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 14.7% male: NA
female: NA (2014 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
etymology: native stilt-houses built on Lake Maracaibo reminded early explorers Alonso de OJEDA and Amerigo VESPUCCI in 1499 of buildings in Venice and so they named the region "Venezuola," which in Italian means "Little Venice"
Government type: federal presidential republic
Capital: name: Caracas
geographic coordinates: 10 29 N, 66 52 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 capital district* (distrito capital), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies)**, Distrito Capital (Capital District)*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia

note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
Independence: 5 July 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1811)
Constitution: many previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2016)
Legal system: civil law system based on the Spanish civil code
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Aristobulo ISTURIZ (since 6 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Aristobulo ISTURIZ (since 6 January 2016)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 6-year term (no term limits); election last held on 14 April 2013 - a special election held following the death of President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias on 5 March 2013 (next election expected in late 2018 or early 2019 pending official convocation by the country's electoral body)

election results: Nicolas MADURO Moros elected president; percent of vote - Nicolas MADURO Moros (PSUV) 50.6%, Henrique CAPRILES Radonski (PJ) 49.1%, other 0.3%
Legislative branch: description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (167 seats; 113 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 51 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, and 3 seats reserved for indigenous peoples of Venezuela; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 6 December 2015 (next expected to be held in 2020)

election results: percent of vote by party - MUD (opposition coalition) 56.3%, PSUV (pro-government) 40.9%, other 2.8%; seats by party - MUD 112, PSUV 55
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Tribunal of Justice (consists of 32 judges organized into 6 divisions - constitutional, political administrative, electoral, civil appeals, criminal appeals, and social (mainly agrarian and labor issues) judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by the Committee of Judicial Postulation (an independent body of organizations dealing with legal issues and of the organs of citizen power) and appointed by the National Assembly; judges serve non-renewable 12-year terms

subordinate courts: Superior or Appeals Courts (Tribunales Superiores); District Tribunals (Tribunales de Distrito); Courts of First Instance (Tribunales de Primera Instancia); Parish Courts (Tribunales de Parroquia); Justices of the Peace (Justicia de Paz) Network
Political parties and leaders: A New Time or UNT [Enrique MARQUEZ] Brave People's Alliance or ABP [Richard BLANCO] Christian Democrats or COPEI [Roberto ENRIQUEZ] Coalition of opposition parties -- The Democratic Unity Table or MUD [Jesus "Chuo" TORREALBA] Communist Party of Venezuela or PCV [Oscar FIGUERA] Democratic Action or AD [Henry RAMOS ALLUP] Fatherland for All or PPT [Rafael UZCATEGUI] For Social Democracy or PODEMOS [Didalco Antonio BOLIVAR GRATEROL] Justice First or PJ [Julio BORGES] Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Segundo MELENDEZ] Popular Will or VP [Leopoldo LOPEZ] Progressive Wave or AP [Henri FALCON] The Radical Cause or La Causa R [Americo DE GRAZIA] United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV [Nicolas MADURO] Venezuelan Progressive Movement or MPV [Simon CALZADILLA] Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique Fernando SALAS FEO]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Bolivarian and Socialist Workers' Union (a ruling-party-oriented organized labor union) Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales or Coindustria (a conservative business group) Consejos Comunales (pro-government local communal councils) Federation of Chambers and Associations of Commerce and Production of Venezuela or FEDECAMARAS (a conservative business group) Union of Oil Workers of Venezuela or FUTPV Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (opposition-oriented labor organization) other: various civil society groups and human rights organizations
International organization participation: Caricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): troupial (bird); national colors: yellow, blue, red
National anthem: name: "Gloria al bravo pueblo" (Glory to the Brave People)
lyrics/music: Vicente SALIAS/Juan Jose LANDAETA

note: adopted 1881; lyrics written in 1810, the music some years later; both SALIAS and LANDAETA were executed in 1814 during Venezuela's struggle for independence
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) (since July 2014); Charge d'Affaires (vacant) (since March 2016)
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lee MCCLENNY (July 2014)
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (212) 975-6411, 907-8400 (after hours)
FAX: [58] (212) 907-8199
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 Economy
Venezuela remains highly dependent on oil revenues, which account for almost all export earnings and nearly half of the government’s revenue. The country ended 2015 with an estimated 10% contraction in its GDP, 275% inflation, widespread shortages of consumer goods, and declining central bank international reserves. The IMF forecasts that the GDP will shrink another 8% in 2016 and inflation may reach 720%. Falling oil prices since 2014 have aggravated Venezuela’s economic crisis. Insufficient access to dollars, price controls, and rigid labor regulations have led some US and multinational firms to reduce or shut down their Venezuelan operations. Market uncertainty and state oil company PDVSA’s poor cash flow have slowed investment in the petroleum sector, resulting in a decline in oil production. Under President Nicolas MADURO, the Venezuelan Government’s response to the economic crisis has been to increase state control over the economy and blame the private sector for the shortages. The Venezuelan government has maintained strict currency controls since 2003. On 17 February 2016, the Venezuelan government announced a change from three official currency exchange mechanisms to only two official rates for the sale of dollars to private sector firms and individuals, with rates based on the government's import priorities. The official exchange rate used for food and medicine imports was devalued to 10 bolivars per dollar from 6.3 bolivars per dollar. The second rate moved to a managed float. These currency controls present significant obstacles to trade with Venezuela because importers cannot obtain sufficient dollars to purchase goods needed to maintain their operations. MADURO has used decree powers to enact legislation to deepen the state’s role as the primary buyer and distributor of imports, further tighten currency controls, cap business profits, and extend price controls.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $468.6 billion (2016 est.) $520.7 billion (2015 est.) $555.2 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $333.7 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -10% (2016 est.) -6.2% (2015 est.) -3.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $15,100 (2016 est.) $17,000 (2015 est.) $18,400 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 24.2% of GDP (2016 est.) 40% of GDP (2015 est.) 9.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 71.1%
government consumption: 18.8%
investment in fixed capital: 16.7%
investment in inventories: 1.4%
exports of goods and services: 5.6%
imports of goods and services: -13.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 71.1%
government consumption: 18.8%
investment in fixed capital: 16.7%
investment in inventories: 1.4%
exports of goods and services: 5.6%
imports of goods and services: -13.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, eggs; fish
Industries: agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products, crude oil and petroleum products
Industrial production growth rate: -8% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 14.16 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 7.3%
industry: 21.8%
services: 70.9% (4th quarter, 2011)
Unemployment rate: 10.5% (2016 est.) 6.8% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 32.1% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 32.7% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 39 (2011) 49.5 (1998)
Budget: revenues: $95.62 billion
expenditures: $228.8 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 28.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 36.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 49.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

note: data cover central government debt, as well as the debt of state-owned oil company PDVSA; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include some debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governm
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 545.9% (2016 est.) 121.7% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$11.21 billion (2016 est.) -$20.36 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $28.07 billion (2016 est.) $38.45 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, bauxite and aluminum, minerals, chemicals, agricultural products
Exports - partners: US 26.6%, India 13.7%, China 11.7%, Cuba 6.4% (2015)
Imports: $27.13 billion (2016 est.) $36.46 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: agricultural products, livestock, raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, construction materials, medical equipment, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, iron and steel products
Imports - partners: US 18.4%, China 15.3%, Brazil 9.7%, Colombia 5.9%, Mexico 4.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $10.43 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $16.37 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $91.99 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $101.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $33.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $32.18 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $30.79 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $30.04 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $25.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $5.143 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $3.991 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Exchange rates: bolivars (VEB) per US dollar - 56.57 (2016 est.) 13.72 (2015 est.) 13.72 (2014 est.) 6.284 (2013 est.) 4.29 (2012 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 124 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 78 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 705 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - imports: 700 million kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 31 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 44.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 55.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 2.5 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 1.548 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 300 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 999,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 776,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 390,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 41,530 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 21.88 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 23.72 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.839 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 5.617 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 188 million Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 29.094 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 99 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern and expanding

domestic: 2 domestic satellite systems with 3 earth stations; recent substantial improvement in telephone service in rural areas; substantial increase in digitalization of exchanges and trunk lines; installation of a national interurban fiber-optic network capable

international: country code - 58; submarine cable systems provide connectivity to Cuba and the Caribbean, Central and South America, and US; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 PanAmSat; participating with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in (2013)
Broadcast media: government supervises a mixture of state-run and private broadcast media; 13 public service networks, 61 privately owned TV networks, a privately owned news channel with limited national coverage, and a government-backed Pan-American channel; state-run ra (2014)
Internet country code: .ve
Internet users: total: 18.113 million percent of population: 61.9% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 444 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 127
over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 33
914 to 1,523 m: 62
under 914 m: 17 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 317

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 57
914 to 1,523 m: 127
under 914 m: 130 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Pipelines: extra heavy crude 981 km; gas 5,941 km; oil 7,588 km; refined products 1,778 km (2013)
Railways: total 447 km
standard gauge: 447 km 1.435-m gauge (41.4 km electrified) (2014)
Roadways: total 96,189 km
(2014)
Waterways: 7,100 km (Orinoco River (400 km) and Lake de Maracaibo navigable by oceangoing vessels) (2011)
Merchant marine: total 53

by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 12, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 5, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 16

foreign-owned: 9 (Denmark 1, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Greece 4, Mexico 1, Spain 1)

registered in other countries: 14 (Panama 13, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): La Guaira, Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, Punta Cardon
oil terminals: Jose terminal
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 Military
Military branches: Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB): Bolivarian Army (Ejercito Bolivariano, EB), Bolivarian Navy (Armada Bolivariana, AB; includes Naval Infantry, Coast Guard, Naval Aviation), Bolivarian Military Aviation (Aviacion Militar Bolivariana, AMB; includes Air National Guard), Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivaria, GNB) (2015)
Military service age and obligation: all citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service, though mandatory recruitment is forbidden; the minimum conscript service obligation is 12 months (2015)
Military expenditures: 1% of GDP (2015) 1.63% of GDP (2014) 1.4% of GDP (2013) 1.3% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: claims all of the area west of the Essequibo River in Guyana, preventing any discussion of a maritime boundary; Guyana has expressed its intention to join Barbados in asserting claims before the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that Trinidad and Tobago's maritime boundary with Venezuela extends into their waters; dispute with Colombia over maritime boundary and Venezuelan administered Los Monjes Islands near the Gulf of Venezuela; Colombian organized illegal narcotics and paramilitary activities penetrate Venezuela's shared border region; US, France, and the Netherlands recognize Venezuela's granting full effect to Aves Island, thereby claiming a Venezuelan Economic Exclusion Zone/continental shelf extending over a large portion of the eastern Caribbean Sea; Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines protest Venezuela's full effect claim
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 173,673 (Colombia) (2015)
Illicit drugs: small-scale illicit producer of opium and coca for the processing of opiates and coca derivatives; however, large quantities of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana transit the country from Colombia bound for US and Europe; significant narcotics-related money-laundering activity, especially along the border with Colombia and on Margarita Island; active eradication program primarily targeting opium; increasing signs of drug-related activities by Colombian insurgents on border
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