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Saturday 21st October
Venezuela Facts
Pico Bolivar ( 5,007 m) is the highest point in Venezuela.

Canaima National Park, in Bolivar State, is one of the largest national parks in the world.

Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela is the largest lake in South America.

Kerepakupai-Meru, also known as Angel Falls, is the world's highest waterfall (approximately 1000 m high).

The world's largest rodent, the capybara, lives in the grassy plains (llanos) of Venezuela.

Christopher Columbus was the first European to find the coast of Venezuela (1498).

Venezuela means Little Venice. Houses built on stilts in a lake reminded explorers of Venice in Italy.

When the Spanish arrived Venezuela was inhabited by Arawak, Carib and Chibcha people.

Africans were brought to Venezuela to work in the cocoa plantations.

Venezuela was ruled by the Spanish for around three hundred years.

1749 saw the first rebellion against Spanish rule in Venezuela.

Venezuelans declared independence in 1810.

Simon de Bolivar, born in Caracas in 1783, is known as El Liberator. Bolivar was the driving force behind ousting the Spanish from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

Following liberation from the Spanish, Venezuela became a member of the Republic of Gran Colombia (Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama).

Gran Colombia dissolved in 1830 and Venezuela became an independent country.

A dispute over the boundary line between British Guiana (Guyana) and Venezuela began in 1841 when Venezuela protested that Britain had encroached on Venezuelan territory.

Slavery was abolished in Venezuela in 1854.

In 1902 Venezuelan ports were blockaded by British, German and Italian warships as Venezuela failed to repay loans to these countries.

During the early twentieth century Venezuela was the largest oil exporter in the world.

Venezuela was one of the founding members of OPEC (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela - 1960).

Hugo Chavez, who was elected President of Venezuela in 1998, won a third term in elections in December 2006.

In January 2007 January President Chavez announced that key energy and telecommunications companies would be nationalised.

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