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Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
República Bolivariana de Venezuela

Political Status: Independence originally proclaimed in 1821 as part of Gran Colombia; independent republic established in 1830; federal constitutional system restored in 1958. Current constitution approved by referendum on December 15, 1999.

Area: 358,850 sq. mi. (916,445 sq. km.).

Population: 23,054,210 (2001C); 30,206,428 (2012E—UN); 28,047,938 (2012E—U.S. Census). The 2001 figure excludes an adjustment for underenumeration as well as for 180,000 Amerindian jungle dwellers. Major Urban Centers (2005E): CARACAS (2,073,768), Maracaibo (1,764,000), Valencia (1,325,000), Barquisimeto (893,000).

Official Language: Spanish.

Monetary Unit: Bolívar (official rate October 3, 2011: 4.29 bolívares fuertes = $1US). [Note: devalued January 2010.]

President: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Hugo Rafael CHÁVEZ Frías (United Socialist Party of Venezuela); elected on December 6, 1998, and inaugurated on February 2, 1999, for a five-year term, ...

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