(Sp. República Bolivariana de Venezuela)
Country in South America. It is bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the north, Brazil to the south, Guyana to the east and Colombia to the west. The capital city is Caracas. The majority of the country's c24 million inhabitants live along the coast. More than 60% of the population is of mixed ethnic origin, 20% Caucasian, 9% of African descent and c2% Amerindian.
Venezuela was not colonized as fast as other Caribbean or northern South American territories because the area was considered one of the poorest of the continent, and it suffered considerable neglect throughout the period. In the early 16th century Franciscans and Dominicans came to help with various colonization attempts and to pursue missionary work. The earliest towns were Nueva Córdoba (now Cumaná), founded in 1521, and Caracas, founded in 1567 and made the capital in 1587, though Venezuela formed part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until ...