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Venezuela

venezuela.gif Spanish Text


Geography: Venezuela is a country of contrasts, much of the highland massif south of the Orinoco River is natural grassland with views of strange mountain formations, impenetrable rainforests and silt-laden rivers. It is wild and beautiful mostly uninhabited. In 1937 the American aviator Jimmy Angel discovered the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls (979 meters, 3,212 ft.)

About half of Venezuela is forest. Grasslands cover most of the remaining area in the Llanos. The Guiana Highlands and the alpine regions of the Andes include the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida running south of Maracaibo to the Colombian border.

History: Amerigo Vespucci remarked that the Indian houses built on stilts above the water reminded him of the Italian City Venice; so they called the place that today is Venezuela “Little Venice”. Venezuela is a country with incredible contrasts between the urban and the country side.

The Arawaks and the Caribs were two of the isolated Indian tribes that lived in widespread settlements near the coast and on the Llanos (plainlands). Until 1917 Venezuela was a relatively unimportant agricultural and cattle-raising backwater with a small population. The early settlers panned for gold unsuccessfully so they switched to agriculture, relied on Indian slave labour. However it was almost after 150 years when Catholic missionaries began to spread out and settle the Llanos and the area around Lake Maracaibo in the north-west. Simon Bolivar and his lieutenant Sucre gave Venezuela the independence.

Spanish narration

Geografía:

Venezuela In construction

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Created on September 19, 1999

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