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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
etymology: native stilt-houses built on Lake Maracaibo reminded early explorers Alonso de OJEDA and Amerigo VESPUCCI in 1499 of buildings in Venice and so they named the region "Venezuola," which in Italian means "Little Venice"
Government typefederal presidential republic
CapitalCaracas Caracas
geographic coordinates: 10 29 N, 66 52 W
time difference: UTC-4 (1 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
Independence5 July 1811 (from Spain)
National holidayIndependence Day, 5 July (1811)
Constitutionmany previous; latest adopted 15 December 1999, effective 30 December 1999; amended 2009 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the Spanish civil code
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCT jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Aristobulo ISTURIZ (since 6 January 2016); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Nicolas MADURO Moros (since 19 April 2013); Executive Vice President Aristobulo ISTURIZ (since 6 January 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 6-year term (no term limits); election last held on 14 April 2013 - a special election held following the death of President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias on 5 March 2013 (next election expected in late 2018 or early 2019 pending official convocation by the country's electoral body)
election results: Nicolas MADURO Moros elected president; percent of vote - Nicolas MADURO Moros (PSUV) 50.6%, Henrique CAPRILES Radonski (PJ) 49.1%, other 0.3%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (167 seats; 113 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 51 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote, and 3 seats reserved for indigenous peoples of Venezuela; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 6 December 2015 (next expected to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - MUD (opposition coalition) 56.3%, PSUV (pro-government) 40.9%, other 2.8%; seats by party - MUD 112, PSUV 55
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Tribunal of Justice (consists of 32 judges organized into 6 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
Political parties and leadersA New Time or UNT (Enrique MARQUEZ)
Brave People's Alliance or ABP (Richard BLANCO)
Christian Democrats or COPEI (Roberto ENRIQUEZ)
Coalition of opposition parties -- The Democratic Unity Table or MUD (Jesus "Chuo" TORREALBA)
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 (Didalco Antonio BOLIVAR GRATEROL)
Justice First or PJ (Julio BORGES)
Movement Toward Socialism or MAS (Segundo MELENDEZ)
Popular Will or VP (Leopoldo LOPEZ)
Progressive Wave or AP (Henri FALCON)
The Radical Cause or La Causa R (Americo DE GRAZIA)
United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV (Nicolas MADURO)
Venezuelan Progressive Movement or MPV (Simon CALZADILLA)
Venezuela Project or PV (Henrique Fernando SALAS FEO)
Political pressure groups and leadersBolivarian and Socialist Workers' Union (a ruling-party-oriented organized labor union)
Confederacion Venezolana de Industriales or Coindustria (a conservative business group)
Consejos Comunales (pro-government local communal councils)
Federation of Chambers and Associations of Commerce and Production of Venezuela or FEDECAMARAS (a conservative business group)
Union of Oil Workers of Venezuela or FUTPV
Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (opposition-oriented labor organization)other: various civil society groups and human rights organizations
International organization participationCaricom (observer), CD, CDB, CELAC, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, LAS (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, Petrocaribe, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) (since July 2014); Charge d'Affaires (vacant) (since March 2016)
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: (1) (202) 342-2214
FAX: (1) (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Lee MCCLENNY (July 2014)
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
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 historic province of Guayana
National symbol(s)troupial (bird); national colors: yellow, blue, red
National anthemname: "Gloria al bravo pueblo" (Glory to the Brave People)
lyrics/music: Vicente SALIAS/Juan Jose LANDAETA

note: adopted 1881; lyrics written in 1810, the music some years later; both SALIAS and LANDAETA were executed in 1814 during Venezuela's struggle for independence