Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia).
For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959.
Tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
Unspecified Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, Indigenous
Offering coffee is a sign of hospitality in Venezuela, so declining a cup from a host may be seen as rude.
Pabellón criollo — black beans, white rice, and slices of steak cooked with tomatoes; often served with fried plantains and arepas (cornbread) and white cheese
South American economy; ongoing hyperinflation since mid-2010s; infrastructure cuts, oil exporter; hydropower consumer