Venezuela is located at the northern rim of South America, and it is bordered to the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital city, Caracas, is centrally located near the Caribbean coast and is the center of gravity in terms of population and politics. More than 90% of Venezuela’s 27 million people live in urban areas, with more than 3 million of them living in Caracas. Significant economic activity related to the country’s status as a major oil producer and exporter is located outside Caracas, near the oil fields in the states of Zulia in the west and Barinas in the east. This entry briefly reviews the history of Venezuela since the mid-20th century, the evolution of the armed forces under ...

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