Officially, the school is mandatory for 10 years for children aged 6 to 15 with 6-year primary school and 3-year secondary school. 1 year preschool is also compulsory. High school is 2 years old. There is a big difference in school standards between cities and rural areas. 90% of children attend primary school, and approx. 60% of them go on to high school. There are over 90 higher education institutions, both private and public, including 20 universities. In 2003, approx. 7% of the adult population is estimated to be illiterate.
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|8 00 N, 66 00 W.
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1976 The oil is nationalized
In 1960, Venezuela was one of the initiators of the formation of the OPEC (Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries). In 1976, the entire oil business in Venezuela was nationalized by AD President Carlos Andrés Pérez, without in any way abolishing the control the oil monopolies have constantly had over the country’s economy. At the same time, Pérez supported the formation of Latin American economic cooperation SELA (Sistema Económico Latinoamericano) and the development of a New Economic World Order.
The December 78 election gave power to COPEI (the Christian Democrats), who had been a brief interruption in AD’s monopoly of power in 1969-73. But President Luis Herrera Campins did not make major changes to the country’s economic or social structures.
Despite the country being the world’s third largest oil exporter and under the Pérez and Herrera governments receiving historically high oil revenues, it was unable to manage the huge revenue wisely. During the 1970’s, a strong state capitalist sector developed, which on the basis of oil revenues made huge investments to develop an extensive export-oriented industry based on the production of oil, iron, aluminum and cement. At the same time, almost all private economic activities received state subsidies. Even today, the state accounts for 95% of the country’s export revenue and is by far the largest employer.
In 1981-82, legal proceedings were initiated with Colombia on the right of the Guajira Peninsula and with Guyana on the Esequibo area. At the same time, Venezuela at the International Conference on the Law of the Sea succeeded in gaining control of large sea areas in the Caribbean.
An intensified economic crisis in the developed capitalist world of 82 led to a significant fall in oil prices and thus a decline in Venezuela’s oil revenues. Instead, foreign debt increased, and throughout the year large amounts of private capital flowed abroad. It ultimately forced the government to impose controls on the currency and with foreign trade. Inflation increased, as did unemployment and poverty. The crisis worsened in 83, and in June the country had to give up paying $ 5 billion in interest and repayments on foreign debt. At the December 83 election, widespread dissatisfaction with the Christian AD brought power back to Jaime Lusinchi as president. He got 56% of the vote.
The people supported the Lusinchi government for a time, but he was unable to slow down the country’s economic roller coaster. He pursued a crisis policy that yielded only mediocre results and sought to form a social pact with employers and trade unions, but it broke down. Towards the end of his reign, he tried to increase state control over the economy, but it culminated in a series of corruption scandals.
However, the Lusinchi government succeeded in playing an important foreign policy role through its participation in the Contadorra Group, which diplomatically worked for peace in Central America. But at the same time, the country maintained its close relations with the IMF and the United States. In January 86, the country converted two-thirds of its foreign debt into new 10-year loans, but the fall in oil prices already forced the year after the government into new debt negotiations. Before his presidential term ended in 88, Lusinchi had to suspend payments once more, in an attempt to get another refinancing done.