Venezuela Essay Research Paper VenezuelaGeographical Features Venezuela — страница 3

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its population, although there has been improvement in production output in the last decade. By the early 1990+s, only 20% of total food needs had to be imported, compared to 40% of a decade earlier. Recently, Venezuela has had to import approximately $700 million annually in food. The only agricultural product in which they are self-sufficient is meat. Other economical problems include an inflation rate of 71%, the highest in Latin America and unemployment of 11% due to the banking system nearly collapsing in June of 1994. Form of Currency- Venezuelan money is called the bolivar. 1.Type of Government- Venezuela+s formal name is the Republic of Venezuela and its government type is a Federal Republic. The Legislature is exercised by Congress which is divided into two Chambers: the

Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Senators are elected by the population with two representing each state, and two to represent the Federal District. There are in addition other Senators, their number being determined by law, who are selected on the principle of minority representation. Ex-presidents of the Republic are life members of the Senate. Executive Power is vested in a President of the Republic elected every 5 years, who may not serve two consecutive terms. The President has the power to discharge the Constitution and the laws, to nominate or remove Ministers, to take command of the Armed Forces, to direct foreign relations of the State, to declare a state of emergency and withdraw the civil guarantees laid down in the Constitution, to convene extraordinary sessions of

the Congress and to administer national finance. The President also appoints an Attorney-General to act as a legal arbiter for the state. Judicial Power is exercised by the Supreme Court of Justice and by the Tribunals. The Supreme Court forms the highest Tribunal of the Republic and the Magistrates of the Supreme Court are elected by both Chambers in joint sessions. Venezuelan political parties are considered highly organized as compared to the rest of Latin America. The political parties are: Accion Democratica – AD (Democratic Action). In September, 1941, AD was officially established with its origins dating back to 1928 formed by a group of university students who organized in protest of Juan Vicente Gomez+s dictatorship. Ideologically, it is a member of the Socialist

International and is considered as the most influential Latin American Party. AD, along with COPEI, has dominated national politics.Partido Social Cristiano (COPEI) was established after WWII as a Christian Democratic political party. It was founded in 1946 and is one of the two principal political parties in Venezuela. It has its roots in the Congress of Catholic Youth in Rome organization. Rafael Caldera, the present president, was a founding member. The party has a Christian socialist orientation with its members defending the Democratic system, civil and political liberties, a social benefits program, individual freedoms, and the incentive of private property. Movimiento al Socialismo – (MAS) was formed in January 19, 1971 by splintering off from the Venezuelan Communist

Party. The MAS criticized the bureaucratization, excessive centralism, and monolithic nature of the Communist Party, which they felt held back debate and the exercise of democracy. It criticized the importation of socialism from one country to another because they felt each country should be treated individually. It has established itself as the third strongest political party although representation has not surpassed 10%. Population- Venezuela+s total population as of an 1994 estimate is 20,562,405. The country is primarily made up of immigrants. with only 2% being Amerind, the indigenous Indian groups. The majority group consists of 69% Mestizo, 20% White, and 9% Black. There are immigrants who enter illegally and remain, which make up about one-fourth of the population. The

majority come from neighboring Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The ethnic and racial groups are regionally oriented. Whites and mestizos are found mainly in the major cities, with the Indians being able to maintain their culture in the remote interior areas. Blacks and the mulatto-mestizo groups concentrate along the Caribbean coast.