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Venezuela: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela
CapitalCaracas Caracas
geographic coordinates: 10 29 N, 66 52 W
time difference: UTC-4.5 (a half hour ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions23 states (estados, singular - estado), 1 capital district* (distrito capital), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies)**, Distrito Capital (Capital District)*, 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
Constitutionmany previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Jorge Alberto ARREAZA Montserrat (since 19 April 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; former Executive Vice President Nicolas MADURO Moros assumed presidential responsibilities after the death of President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias on 5 March 2013 and became Acting President while preparations for elections took place. He won a national election on 14 April 2013 and started a six-year term
head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Jorge Alberto ARREAZA Montserrat (since 19 April 2013)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for unlimited reelection); election last held on 14 April 2013; note - this was a special election held following the death of President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias on 5 March 2013; the next scheduled election after this is expected to be held in late 2018 or early 2019 pending official convocation by the country's electoral body)
note: in 1999, a National Constituent Assembly drafted a new constitution that increased the presidential term to six years; an election was subsequently held on 30 July 2000 under the terms of this constitution; in 2009, a national referendum approved the elimination of term limits on all elected officials, including the presidency
election results: Nicolas MADURO Moros elected president; percent of vote - Nicolas MADURO Moros 50.61%, Henrique CAPRILES Radonski 49.12%, other 0.24%
Flag descriptionthree 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 eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band; the flag retains the three equal horizontal bands and three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; yellow is interpreted as standing for the riches of the land, blue for the courage of its people, and red for the blood shed in attaining independence; the seven stars on the original flag represented the seven provinces in Venezuela that united in the war of independence; in 2006, then President Hugo CHAVEZ ordered an eighth star added to the star arc - a decision that sparked much controversy - to conform with the flag proclaimed by Simon Bolivar in 1827 and to represent the province of Guayana
Independence5 July 1811 (from Spain)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Tribunal of Justice (consists of 32 judges organized into six divisions - constitutional, political administrative, electoral, civil appeals, criminal appeals, and social (mainly agrarian and labor issues)
judge selection and term of office: judges proposed by the Committee of Judicial Postulation (an independent body of organizations dealing with legal issues and of the organs of citizen power) and appointed by the National Assembly; judges serve non-renewable 12-year terms
subordinate courts: Superior or Appeals Courts (Tribunales Superiores); District Tribunals (Tribunales de Distrito); Courts of First Instance (Tribunales de Primera Instancia); Parish Courts (Tribunales de Parroquia); Justices of the Peace (Justicia de Paz) Network
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Spanish civil code
Legislative branchunicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (165 seats; members elected by popular vote on a proportional basis to serve five-year terms; three seats reserved for the indigenous peoples of Venezuela)
elections: last held on 26 September 2010 (next to be held in 2015)
election results: percent of vote by party - pro-government 48.9%, opposition coalition 47.9%, other 3.2%; seats by party - pro-government 98, opposition 65, other 2
International organization participationCaricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), Mercosur, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National holidayIndependence Day, 5 July (1811)
Political pressure groups and leadersBolivarian and Socialist Workers' Union (a ruling party labor union)
Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales or Coindustria (a conservative business group)
Consejos Comunales (pro-Chavez local cooperatives)
FEDECAMARAS (a conservative business group)
Union of Oil Workers of Venezuela or FUTPV
Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (opposition-oriented labor organization)
various civil society groups and human rights organizations
Political parties and leadersA New Time or UNT (Omar BARBOZA)
Brave People's Alliance or ABP (Antonio LEDEZMA)
Christian Democrats or COPEI (Roberto ENRIQUEZ)
Coalition of opposition parties -- The Democratic Unity Table or MUD (Ramon Guillermo AVELEDO)
Communist Party of Venezuela or PCV (Oscar FIGUERA)
Democratic Action or AD (Henry RAMOS ALLUP)
Fatherland for All or PPT (Rafael UZCATEGUI)
For Social Democracy or PODEMOS (Ismael GARCIA)
Justice First or PJ (Julio BORGES)
Movement Toward Socialism or MAS (Nicolas SOSA)
Popular Will or VP (Leopoldo LOPEZ)
Progressive Wave or AP (Henri FALCON)
The Radical Cause (Daniel SANTOLO)
United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV (Nicolas MADURO)
Venezuelan Progressive Movement or MPV (Simon CALZADILLA)
Venezuela Project or PV (Henrique SALAS ROMER)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typefederal republic
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: (1) (202) 342-2214
FAX: (1) (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
National anthemname: "Gloria al bravo pueblo" (Glory to the Brave People)
lyrics/music: Vicente SALIAS/Juan Jose LANDAETA
note: adopted 1881; the lyrics were written in 1810, the music some years later; both SALIAS and LANDAETA were executed in 1814 during Venezuela's struggle for independence
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; state party to the ICCT
National symbol(s)troupial (bird)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Philip G. LAIDLAW
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) 975-6411, 907-8400 (after hours)
FAX: (58) (212) 907-8199