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Venezuela History Timeline

Venezuela's Information

Flag of Venezuela
Land Area 882,050 km2
Water Area 30,000 km2
Total Area 912,050km2 (#32)
Population 30,912,302 (#42)
Population Density 35.05/km2
Government Type Federal Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $469.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $15,100
Currency Bolivar (VEF)
Largest Cities
1400s - 1700s
  • (1498) Christopher Columbus landed in Venezuela
  • (1528-46) Charles I, King of Spain, leased Venezuela to German banking group to pay debts
  • (1535) Spanish conquistadors began colonizing Venezuela
  • (1550) African slaves shipped to Venezuela to work on plantations
  • (1700s) Spain combined Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Panama into one large colony called the Vice-royalty; Venezuelan General Francisco Gabriel de Miranda participated in major political events for three decades
  • (1810) King of Spain overthrown by Napoleon Bonaparte; territories of Vice-royalty of New Granada set up independent governments
  • (1811) Venezuela declared independence from Spain
  • (1812) Simon Bolivar, revolutionary leaders fled abroad
  • (1814) Spain sent troops to South America to suppress uprising of colonists
  • (1819) Simon Bolivar defeated Spanish at Battle of Boyaca; Republic of Gran Colombia proclaimed with Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela
  • (1821) Simon Bolivar established Gran Columbia, became first president
  • (1829-30) Venezuela seceded from Gran Columbia, became an independent republic, capital at Caracas
  • (1830) Venezuela, Ecuador left Gran Columbia, became totally independent
  • (1831) General Jose Antonio Paez became first president of Venezuela
  • (1800s) Venezuela torn by civil war
  • (1870-1888) Guzman Blanco ruled Venezuela; ended civil wars
  • (1908-1935) Gomez ruled Venezuela with strong military backing
  • (1947) Venezuela's first democratically elected leader, Romulo Gallegos, overthrown in eight months in military coup led by Marcos Perez Jimenez; formed government backed by the armed forces and the US
  • (1950) Marcos Perez Jimenez served as dictator
  • (1958) Jimenez forced into exile, led to Venezuela democracy
  • (1964) Venezuela's first presidential handover from one civilian to another took place when Dr. Raul Leoni was elected president
  • (1973) Venezuela's currency peaked against US dollar from oil boom; oil, steel industries nationalized
  • (1983-84) Fall in world oil prices generated unrest and cut welfare spending; Dr. Jaime Lusinchi elected president, signed pact with
  • (1989) Carlos Andres Perez elected president; social, political upheaval included riots, martial law, general strike, over 2,000 people killed
  • (1992) 120 people killed in two attempted coups led by Colonel Hugo Chavez; Chavez jailed two years before pardoned
  • (1993-95) Ramon Jose Velasquez became interim president, Perez ousted on charges of corruption; Rafael Caldera elected president
  • (1996) Perez imprisoned, found guilty of embezzlement, corruption
  • (1998) Hugo Chavez elected president
  • (1999) Voters approved new constitution; severe floods, mudslides in the north, killed tens of thousands of people
  • (2000) Foreign minister Jose Vicente Rangel disclosed plot to kill Chavez; Chavez won another six years in office; Chavez, first foreign head of state to visit Iraq
  • (2002) Venezuela national currency, the Bolivar, plummeted 25% against US dollar after government scrapped exchange rate controls; opposition strike crippled oil industry
  • (2003) Venezuela clashed between opponents, supporters of President Chavez; thousands of bank workers stayed home to support nation-wide strike to seek new presidential elections; opposition leaders turned in 2.7 million signatures demanding referendum on ending Hugo Chavez's tumultuous four-year presidency
  • (2004) President Chavez won referendum where Venezuelans asked whether he should serve out the remainder of term
  • (2005) Loyal parties to President Chavez made big gains in parliamentary elections; opposition parties boycotted polls, left parliament made up of supporters of the president
  • (2006) President Chavez signed a $3 Billion arms deal with Russia, included agreement to buy fighter jets, helicopters; Hugo Chavez won third term as president, with 63% of the vote
  • (2007) Chavez suffered first defeat, voters in majority narrowly rejected proposals to extend his powers
  • (2008) President Chavez announced plans to nationalize one of the country's largest private banks, the Spanish-owned bank of Venezuela; Mexican cement giant Cemex sought World Bank arbitration over Venezuela nationalization of local subsidiary; first Venezuelan telecommunications satellite launched from China; Russia and Venezuela signed accord on joint civilian nuclear cooperation
  • (2009) Voters in referendum approved plans to abolish limits on number of terms in office for elected officials; Columbian government, US signed deal on use of Columbia's military bases; President Chavez ordered 15,000 troops to Columbian border, cited increased violence by Columbian paramilitary groups
  • (2010) President Chavez devalued Venezuela's currency, the Bolivar, by 17% against the US dollar for "priority" imports, by 50% for items considered non-essential, in effort to boost revenue from oil exports; Venezuela's government announced that expenditure of $15 billion over next 5 years to increase electricity production; President Chavez declared national emergency in electric sector as worst drought in 50 years dried up water supplies in hydroelectric dams
  • (2013) On March 6, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez died at age 58, after 14 years in power. Mr Chavez had been seriously ill with cancer for more than a year, undergoing several operations in Cuba

Venezuela Trivia

Which Is The Largest Ethnic Group In Venezuela?

Venezuela has an ethnically diverse population because of its colorful history and the peoples that have resided in the country over the centuries. People of mixed European, Amerindian, and African descent constitute over half of the country’s population. They are collectively termed “Mestizos”. Those of European, Black African and Amerindian descent constitute the rest of the population.

Ethnic Groups In Venezuela

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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