|1.||Official name: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela a republic in South America, on the Caribbean: colonized by the Spanish in the 16th century; independence from Spain declared in 1811 and won in 1819 after a war led by Simón Bolívar. It contains Lake Maracaibo and the northernmost chains of the Andes in the northwest, the Orinoco basin in the central part, and the Guiana Highlands in the south. Exports: petroleum, iron ore, and coffee. Official language: Spanish. Religion: Roman Catholic majority. Currency: bolívar. Capital: Caracas. Pop: 26 170 000 (2004 est). Area: 912 050 sq km (352 142 sq miles)|
|2.||Gulf of Venezuela an inlet of the Caribbean in NW Venezuela: continues south as Lake Maracaibo|
Republic in northern South America, bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Guyana to the east, Brazil to the south, and Colombia to the southwest and west. Its capital and largest city is Caracas.
Note: Venezuela is rich in oil, which accounts for about ninety percent of its export income. Because of its revenue from oil, Venezuela has the highest per capita national income in Latin America. It was a founder of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Note: Venezuela became independent from Spain in 1821.