Share of global reserves: 6.8%
Share of global production (2003): 4.2%
Share of petroleum sector in the economy: The Venezuelan economy is extremely oil-dependent. Oil accounts for more than three-quarters of total Venezuelan export revenues, about half of total government revenues, and about one-third of gross domestic product.
Population: 25 million
Population growth rate: 1.44% (2004 est.)
GDP per capita: $4,800 (2004 est.)
Government type: federal republic
Religions: Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Freedom House Ranking: partly free
March 2002: A failed coup against Venezuelan President Hugh Chavez.
November 2002: political unrest and general strike.
Observers in Washington and Venezuela warn that large-scale bloodshed -- even a civil war -- is not out of the question.
December 2002--January 2003: A two-month general strike, called by government opponents to force President Hugo Chavez to resign, shut the country's oil industry causing a spike in international oil prices.
U.S. Dept. of Energy country analysis brief
CIA World Factbook
Library of Congress