• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Present-day Venezuela was inhabited by hunter-gatherers from at least 3000 BC. The Arawaks and Carib lived mainly in the north and around the Orinoco river system. Christopher Columbus landed at Macuro with three Spanish ships on 5 Aug. 1498. A year later the area was explored by Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci. They named it Venezuela (Little Venice) afer the indigenous villages built on stilts over water. Spanish settlements were established on the Caribbean coast from the early 16th century and ruled from Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Santiago de León de Caracas, founded in 1567, became the seat of the government of the province of Venezuela in 1578. Cocoa plantations developed slowly and much of the forested interior remained unexplored.


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Further Reading

  1. Dirección General de Estadística, Ministerio de Fomento, Boletín Mensual de Estadística.—Anuario Estadístico de Venezuela. Caracas, AnnualGoogle Scholar
  2. Canache, D., Venezuela: Public Opinion and Protest in a Fragile Democracy. Univ. of Miami, 2002Google Scholar
  3. McCoy, J., Smith, W. C., Serbin, A. and Stambouli, A., Venezuelan Democracy Under Stress. Univ. of Miami, 1995Google Scholar
  4. Naim, M., Paper Tigers and Minotaurs: the Politics of Venezuela’s Economic Reforms. Washington (D.C.), 1993Google Scholar
  5. Rudolph, D. K. and Rudolph, G. A., Historical Dictionary of Venezuela 2nd ed. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen (NJ), 1995Google Scholar
  6. Wilpert, Greg, Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: the History and Policies of the Chavez Government. Verso Books, London, 2006Google Scholar
  7. National Statistical Office: Oficina Central de Estadística e Informática.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

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