Venezuela Fast Facts
There are two Venezuelan states, and many people refer to them as the same country. As a result, confusion usually leads to misinformation, as we’ll see in Chapter 4. The two states are both located in South America–the northernmost part of neighboring Colombia. The two states are separated by the Orinoco river, a body of water that divides the continent from the southern part of the continent, near the equator. The region where they are located is very diverse and contains some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. It’s located within the latitudinal “rain shadow” of the Andes mountain range. This means that it experiences cooler winters and hotter summers than the rest of the country. Because of this, life in Venezuela is very different than life anywhere else in the Americas, and people find that, although they enjoy living here, they also have many reasons for leaving. These reasons all stem from the country’s political instability and economic instability.
This book focuses on an important country that most people probably don’t know much about. Many people refer to it as Venezuela, but because it’s so culturally different from the rest of the country, most people actually think it’s their country. The name Venezuela means “red country.” It’s not because of its obvious differences in color that we should consider it a different country, however. Rather, it refers to the deep cultural heritage that has long prevailed within its land. The country is known for its rich history, which is the reason why it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. UNESCO is an international organization that is dedicated to preserving, collecting, and promoting world heritage. This means that the country possesses many wonderful and historically impressive buildings, as well as many beautiful gardens. Many people throughout the world enjoy these gardens with their families.
The country also has an abundance of natural landscapes. It’s not only beautiful, but it also offers a healthy and diverse variety of wildlife. Because of this, many people use the country for vacations. The capital city of Caracas is actually in neighboring Colombia, which means that Venezuelan people can cross over illegally to visit their country of origin.
As you’ll learn later in this book, the Venezuelan government is constantly waging political and economic battles against citizens who they accuse