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Venezuela Government
Capital:
Caracas
Country name:
conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
Government type:
federal republic
Administrative divisions:
23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 federal district* (distrito federal), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales**, Distrito Federal*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia
note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands
Independence:
5 July 1811 (from Spain)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 5 July (1811)
Constitution:
30 December 1999
Legal system:
based on organic laws as of July 1999; open, adversarial court system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL (since 28 April 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Vice President Jose Vicente RANGEL (since 28 April 2002); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias reelected president; percent of vote - 60%
note: a special presidential recall vote on 15 August 2004 resulted in a victory for CHAVEZ; percent of vote - 58% in favor of CHAVEZ fulfilling the remaining two years of his term, 42% in favor of terminating his presidency immediately
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 30 July 2000 (next to be held NA 2006)
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (165 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; three seats reserved for the indigenous peoples of Venezuela)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - pro-government 108 (MVR 92, MAS 6, indigenous 3, other 7), opposition 57 (AD 33, COPEI 6, Justice First 5, other 13)
elections: last held 30 July 2000 (next to be held NA 2005)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Tribuna Suprema de Justicia (magistrates are elected by the National Assembly for a single 12-year term)
Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Action or AD [Henry RAMOS Allup]; Fifth Republic Movement or MVR [Hugo CHAVEZ]; Homeland for All or PPT [Jose ALBORNOZ]; Justice First [Julio BORGES]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Hector MUJICA]; National Convergence or Convergencia [Juan Jose CALDERA]; Radical Cause or La Causa R [Antonio HERRERA]; Social Christian Party or COPEI [Eduardo FERNANDEZ]; Venezuela Project or PV [Henrique SALAS Romer]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; VECINOS groups; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action)
International organization participation:
CAN, Caricom (observer), CDB, FAO, G-3, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Bernardo ALVAREZ
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Charles S. SHAPIRO
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Urbanizacion Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1080
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (212) 975-9234, 975-6411
FAX: [58] (212) 975-8991
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of seven white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band
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