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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. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include: a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.


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Military

Military branches
Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, FANB): Bolivarian National Army (Ejercito Nacional Bolivariano, ENB), Bolivarian Navy (Armada Bolivariana, AB; includes Naval Infantry, Coast Guard, Naval Aviation), Bolivarian Military Aviation (Aviacion Militar Bolivariana, AMB), Bolivarian National Guard (Guardia Nacional Bolivaria, GNB) (2011)

Military service age and obligation
18-30 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 30-month conscript service obligation; Navy requires 6th-grade education for enlisted personnel; all citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service (2011)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 7,013,854
Females age 16-49 7,165,661 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 5,614,743
Females age 16-49 6,074,834 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 277,210
Female 273,353 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 118
1.2% of GDP (2005 est.)


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  Venezuela (Caracas):


  GPS points from Venezuela (Caracas)

Rio Carapa Estado Miranda

Los Corrales Estado Merida


Agua Clara Falcon

Santa Barbara Estado Falcon


Cano Tieni Estado Amazonas

Paso Bonito Estado Apure




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