The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America. It is bordered by Colombia on the west, Brazil on the south, Guyana on the east, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population 31,775,371. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity (currently ranks 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number of species), with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has the world's largest oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, in which inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995 as (by 1998) per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak. The recovery of oil prices in the early 2000s gave Venezuela oil funds not seen since the 1980s. The Venezuelan government then established populist policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, significantly reducing economic inequality and poverty. However, such policies later became controversial since they destabilized the nation's economy, resulting in hyperinflation, an economic depression and a drastic increase in poverty.