Venezuela History

Venezuela History

Discovery and Colonization

Columbus sighted the Orinoco estuary on his third voyage in 1498, A. de Hojeda discovered the Gulf of Maracaibo in 1499. The rich pearl grounds near Cumaná were soon exploited and shortly after 1500 led to the establishment of the first Spanish settlement in South America. Coro was founded in 1527.

In a contract with Emperor Charles V (March 27, 1528), the Augsburg trading and banking house of the Welser people undertook to conquer and colonize western Venezuela. The governors of the Welser, among others. Until 1544, N. Federmann, G. Hohermuth and P. von Hutten undertook long exploratory expeditions into the hinterland in search of gold and slaves. With the murder of Huttens and Bartholomäus Welsers (* 1512, † 1546) In April 1546 in the area of ​​El Tocuyo (near Coro) by the Spanish commander, the rule of the Welser in Venezuela came to an end. The administrative center of Venezuela, now part of the Audiencia of Santo Domingo, which belongs to the viceroyalty of New Spain, was Caracas, which was founded in 1567. The expeditions of discovery in the area of ​​the upper and lower Orinoco were important for the expansion of the country. In 1595 there were conflicts with the English who occupied the Spanish settlements v. a. destroyed in Trinidad. The Dutch established their first settlements on Venezuelan soil around 1620 and conquered Curaçao in 1634. In 1717 the Venezuelan area became part of the viceroyalty of New Granada.


The separation from Spanish rule began with the revolution of April 19, 1810 in Caracas under the leadership of S. Bolívar and F. de Miranda. Independence was declared on July 5, 1811, but only long and eventful battles (including the Battle of Boyacá near Tunja, August 7th, 1819, and the Battle of Carabobo, June 24th, 1821) brought the final liberation. Under Bolívar, Venezuela and the rest of New Granada (Colombia, Panama) united to form the Republic of Greater Colombia in 1819/21; Quito (Ecuador) was added in 1822; in the spring of 1830 Venezuela became independent under General J. A. Páez.

Military rule

Long civil wars followed, which in 1864 led to the reorganization of the unitary state into a Federal Republic (Estados Unidos de Venezuela), but were only ended by the authoritarian regime of General A. Guzmán Blancos (1870-87, with interruptions). Some civilian presidencies were followed by new military dictatorships. Under General C. Castro (1899–1908) Venezuela was embroiled in international conflicts in 1902 through violations of foreign economic interests and other citizens (German-British-Italian blockade of the ports).

Foreign policy

In terms of foreign policy, according to mathgeneral, Venezuela pursued a course of independence from the USA, particularly in the 1970s. The country supports Latin American integration efforts: in 1973 it joined the Andean Pact, in 1990 it founded the Group of Three with Mexico and Colombia. There were repeated border conflicts with Guyana in an area that was awarded Guyana in 1899 and is very resource-rich. Under Chavez Venezuela’s international role was redefined and focused on the following issues: 1) Oil policy, which was geared towards high world market prices and close energy policy cooperation with the Latin American countries; 2) an alternative integration of the subcontinent, distancing itself from the North American ideas of free trade, with direct reference to the ideas of S. Bolívar and 3) the strengthening of multilateralism. Rhetorically uncompromising anti-imperialism and the perfectly viable Havana – Caracas axis made Chávez the idol of the orthodox left in Latin America. In April 2006 Venezuela terminated its membership in the Andean Community and joined Mercosur in July of the same year to which it had been an associate member since 2004 (membership finally ratified on July 31, 2012; suspended for an indefinite period since August 2017). While Chavez was primarily looking for foreign policy cooperation with Bolivia, Cuba and Nicaragua, relations with the USA remained tense. In December 2011, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was founded in Caracas, a mechanism for the further integration of American states without the participation of the USA and Canada. Even under Maduro’s presidency, relations between the United States and Venezuela did not improve. After the 2018 presidential elections, the US once again tightened its economic penalties. There were also foreign policy conflicts with Colombia, which repeatedly accused Venezuela of supporting the Colombian FARC guerrillas. Venezuela found itself largely isolated in Latin America, with only Bolivia and Cuba remaining as allies.

Venezuela History


Caracas, named after the name of an Indian tribe resident in the area, was founded in 1567 by Diego de Losada as Santiago de León de Caracas and was the seat of the Spanish general captainate of Caracas from 1731-1810. The birth town of S. Bolívar, hit by severe earthquakes in 1755 and 1812, was a center of the struggle for independence and in 1831 became the capital of the Republic of Venezuela.


Maracaibo [mara ka   o], capital of the state of Zulia, Venezuela, on the western shore of the strait which connects the Gulf of Venezuela with Maracaibo, with San Francisco 2.13 million residents. Maracaibo, one of the hottest cities in South America, is the economic center of the Maracaibo Basin;Archbishopric; several universities, art academy, conservatory, museums; Industrial center, especially with a petroleum refinery, food, metal, textile, pharmaceutical industry, shipbuilding and others. Operated; Port of export especially for oil (including coffee). An almost 9 km long cable-stayed bridge (General Rafael Urdaneta, since 1962) leads over the lake entrance to the oil production centers on the east bank of the lake; international airport, underground (since 2006).


After A. de Hojeda discovered Lake Maracaibo (1499), the German A. Dalfinger founded the city in 1529 as a representative of the Augsburg trading house of the Welser family. However, it fell into disrepair and was re-founded in 1571 as Nueva Zamora, destroyed several times in the 17th century, especially in 1669 by the Flibustier. The city experienced an upswing due to the oil discoveries since 1917.

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