During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) until the mid-20th century.Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments.

The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, in which inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995 The Venezuelan government then initiated populist/revisionist policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, significantly reducing economic inequality and poverty.

Such populist policies were questioned since their initiation and the over dependence on oil funds led to overspending on social programs while strict government polices, which were initially supposed to prevent capital flight, created difficulties for Venezuela's import-reliant businesses. In a July 22, 2016 decree, President Maduro used his executive power to declare a state of economic emergency.

According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast.

The stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded the navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, of the city of Venice, so he named the region Veneziola "Piccola Venezia".

), is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America.

It is bordered by Colombia on the west, Brazil on the south, Guyana on the east, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east.Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 km with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.The territory currently known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples.This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and federal dependencies (covering Venezuela's offshore islands).Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993.