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Venezuela Old History

 

The people living in the area were decimated after the arrival of the Spaniards in 1498, due to hardships and new diseases. Venezuela became an important agricultural exporter in the Spanish colonial empire. In the early 19th century, a struggle for independence began with the freedom fighter Simón Bolívar as a foreground figure. In 1821, the Republic of Greater Colombia was proclaimed, which soon split; In 1830 Venezuela became a state of its own. The country was mainly governed by dictators until 1945.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Venezuela, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

Venezuela's first inhabitants were hunters and nomads, believed to have come to the area 15,000 years ago. From the Amazon came arawak and chibcha Indians, from the Orinoco delta Caribbean. The people groups had no direct contact among themselves and in Venezuela there was no high culture such as in Peru or Mexico.

Christofer Columbus arrived in Venezuela in 1498 during his third trip across the Atlantic. Many believe that Venezuela got its name because the colonizers thought that houses on piles along the coast reminded of the houses in Venice. Venezuela means little Venice in Italian.

Profitable agricultural colony

The first Spanish settlement, Cumaná, was founded a few decades after Columbus's arrival. The colonization's entry led to a rapid decline of the indigenous population. Many died in diseases and struggles and as a result of being forced to work as slaves to the Spaniards.

Old History of Venezuela

Venezuela soon developed into Spain's most successful agricultural colony, where cocoa and coffee beans were grown. During the 19th century, Venezuela was the world's third largest coffee producer after Brazil and Java. Slaves were imported from Africa to the plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1854.

Venezuela created its own upper class of Spanish kittens, which became wealthy through plantation, trade and smuggling. Soon, however, tensions arose between the Creoles (Spanish kittens born in America) and peninsulares (people born in Spain). Among the Creole, the will to break away from colonial power grew in Spain.

Venezuela becomes independent

Already in the middle of the 18th century the first revolts against Spain began. In 1806, Francisco de Miranda began the long war that would lead to Venezuela's liberation. But it was another freedom fighter, Simón Bolívar, who eventually managed to break Spain's control over the colony. The long and bloody struggle for independence lasted until 1821, when Bolívar founded the Republic of Greater Colombia. Bolívar had a vision of uniting Latin American countries and creating a counterbalance to the United States. But Greater Colombia soon tore apart internal conflicts and in 1830 Venezuela became an independent state.

The people of the newly formed Venezuela were poor, divided and lacked nationalist sentiments. Constant civil war raged at first, and it was only after the "federal wars" (1859-1863) that the beginning of national cohesion emerged. Venezuela has long been ruled by charismatic and strong leaders. The regimes alternated between the regime characterized by liberal ideas and hard-handed dictatorship.

Between 1908 and 1935 the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez ruled with great cruelty. During his time, oil was discovered, and the society changed radically. Rich oil magnates were set against a poor rural population who began to demand their rights. During the 1930s the opposition grew strong and eventually the Socialist Party Democratic Action (AD) and Christian Democratic Copei were formed. But it would take some time before the military dictatorship was over.

2014

December

The United States is facing sanctions against individuals

The US Congress votes to impose sanctions on Venezuelan government officials who are considered to be involved in violence against protesters and violations of their human rights. Maduro is raging and talking about imperialist forms.

November

Oil revenues almost halved in two years

The falling world market price of oil is exacerbating the economic crisis. Venezuela does not succeed in getting the other oil-exporting countries in Opec to cut production to raise the price, which in a few months has fallen from around $ 115 to below $ 70 a barrel. For Venezuela, the falling price means that import revenues have fallen from $ 77 billion to $ 43 billion in two years.

October

Court orders Venezuela to replace oil giant

An international arbitration tribunal within the World Bank states Venezuela must pay oil giant Exxon $ 1.6 billion in compensation for, among other things, the nationalization of the Cerro Negro mining project in 2007. Foreign Minister Rafael Ramírez calls the ruling "reasonable"; Exxon had requested $ 16.6 billion. Another more than 20 claims from other foreign companies have not yet been settled.

September

New Vice Presidents

In a government refurbishment, several new vice presidential posts are set up. Foreign Minister Jaua becomes Vice President responsible for the development of territorial socialism. New Foreign Minister becomes Rafael Rodriguez.

August

The border with Colombia is closed

The government decides to close the 220-mile border to Colombia at night, in an effort to prevent the extensive smuggling of oil and food. Around 17,000 soldiers are deployed to guard the border. Up to 40 percent of government subsidized goods are sold at higher prices in neighboring countries, according to Venezuelan estimates. About 100,000 barrels of oil are believed to be carried across the border each day. The smuggling is also plaguing the market in Colombia. According to Venezuela, the decision was made in consultation between Maduro and his Colombian colleague Juan Manuel Santos, but from Colombian protests comes what is called a unilateral decision to close the border.

July

Maduro becomes party leader

The ruling party PSUV holds congress and President Nicolás Maduro is elected party chairman. The late Hugo Chávez is appointed eternal leader of the party.

May

Imprisoned opposition leaders are replaced by wives

Two women who are married to incarcerated opposition mayors (see March 2014) win by a wide margin and replace them. Patricia Gutiérrez gets 73 percent of the votes in San Cristóbal and Rosa Brandonisio 88 percent in San Diego. Both municipalities are strong opposition parties.

April

Dialogue to stop unrest

The government and opposition agree to initiate "formal talks" to end the protests that have been going on for two months. The decision comes after mediation by the Vatican and the South American cooperative organization Unasur, which will also participate in the talks. A first televised meeting between President Maduro and opposition leader Capriles is underway for six hours. Maduro says no agreement with the opposition is involved, as it would mean "betrayal of chavism". Capriles says he doesn't want a coup, but accuses the president of being disrespectful to half the residents when he calls them "fascists." The unrest is reported to have claimed the lives of 41 people, including 32 civilians and 9 police officers. Over 500 have been injured and more than 2,000 have been arrested,

March

The military regains control in San Cristóbal

Security forces are said to have torn down barricades and regained control of San Cristóbal. Mayor Daniel Ceballos has been sentenced to 12 months in prison. Similarly, the mayor of San Diego in the state of Carabobo in the north, Vicencio Scarano, is similarly sentenced to ten and a half months in prison for failing to obey a court order to tear barricades.

Generals arrested for insurgency plans

President Maduro states that three Air Force generals have been arrested, accused of plans to launch an uprising. According to Maduro, the arrest comes after a tip from younger officers. The message was given at a meeting with foreign ministers from the South American cooperation body Unasur, who are visiting to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela.

Another opposition leader seized

The mayor of San Cristóbal, where the latest wave of protests began, is being arrested by the intelligence service, accused of incitement to violence. Mayor Daniel Ceballos belongs to the People's Will, the same party as Leopoldo López (see February 2014).

US criticism of 'terrorist campaign'

14th of March

US Secretary of State John Kerry calls on Venezuela to end its "terror campaign against its own citizens". It is the sharpest statement so far from the United States since the unrest erupted just over a month earlier. Both UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and Pope Francis have expressed concern over developments in Venezuela. The unrest continues with almost daily protest marches in both camps, and with street barricades in neighborhoods that are opposition parties. Maduro says the government has averted a "right-wing".

Relations with Panama are broken

In celebration of the one year anniversary of the death of former President Hugo Chávez, the successor Nicolás Maduro announces that he is breaking diplomatic relations with Panama and freezing all trade exchanges. It is a reaction that Panama has requested a meeting of the OAS (see Foreign Policy and Defense) to discuss the crisis in Venezuela. Maduro announces its decision during a meeting with a number of Latin American leaders.

February

The US and Venezuela expel diplomats

February 25th

The United States expels three Venezuelan diplomats in response to the fact that a week earlier Venezuela ordered three US diplomats to leave the country, after being accused of engaging in the protests. It was the third time US diplomats have been expelled since Maduro took office in April 2013.

The military is sent to Táchira

There is continued unrest in the country and the president orders troops to Táchira. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles urges protesters to avoid all violence but at the same time calls for a new big demonstration. After a couple of weeks of protests, a dozen people's lives have been claimed and over 100 injured. The protests are aimed at the high crime rate, the galloping inflation and the large shortage of groceries.

Opposition leaders are arrested

February 18

Another major demonstration against the government is being held in Caracas, while thousands of oil workers are participating in a march in support of the government. At the anti-government demonstration, opposition leader Leopoldo López gives a speech before handing himself over to the National Guard. An arrest warrant was issued shortly before López, former mayor of the Chacao district of Caracas, from which the newly blossomed demonstrations had expired.

Three killed in the protests

February 12

After a week when regime critics demonstrated around the country, three people were shot dead in connection with a major protest in Caracas. Government supporters are also gathered to show their support for the government. President Maduro says fascists are trying to take power in the country.

Growing protests against the government

February 7

Students in San Cristóbal, the capital of the western state of Táchira, are demonstrating against a lack of security following a rape. Some demonstrations have already taken place, and protests against violence are soon to be expanded and also directed at President Maduro and the government's economic policy, as well as spread to other parts of the country. Several people are arrested, which contributes to further demonstrations.

January

Airlines stop flying to Venezuela

Several foreign airlines cancel flights to Venezuela due to non-payment. The hard currency control makes it difficult for the companies to raise money for tickets sold in Venezuela. New currency restrictions have recently been introduced.

 
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