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Venezuela Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Venezuela
    conventional short form: Venezuela
    local long form: Republica de Venezuela
    local short form: Venezuela

    Data code: VE

    Government type: republic

    Capital: Caracas

    Administrative divisions: 22 states (estados, singular—estado),1 federal district* (distrito federal), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales**, Distrito Federal*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Yaracuy, Zulia
    note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands

    Independence: 5 July 1811 (from Spain)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1811)

    Constitution: 23 January 1961

    Legal system: based on Napoleonic code; judicial review of legislative acts in Cassation Court only; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); note—the president is both the chief of state and head of government
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2003)
    election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias elected president; percent of vote—NA%

    Legislative branch: bicameral Congress of the Republic or Congreso de la Republica consists of the Senate or Senado (52 seats, two from each state and the federal district (46), one for each of the retired presidents, and others representing minorities (6); members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies or Camara de Diputados (207 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
    elections: Senate—last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2003); Chamber of Deputies—last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2003)
    election results: Senate—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—AD 16, COPEI 14, Causa R 9, National Convergence 5, MAS 3, independents 5; note—two former presidents (1 from AD, 1 from COPEI) hold lifetime Senate seats; Chamber of Deputies—percent of vote by party—AD 25.6%, COPEI 24.6%, MAS 10.6%, National Convergence 8.7%, Causa R 19.3%; seats by party—AD 53, COPEI 51, Causa R 40, MAS 22, National Convergence 18, other 23

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justicia), magistrates are elected by both chambers in joint session for a nine-year term, one-third are reelected every three years

    Political parties and leaders: National Convergence or Convergencia [Jose Miguel UZCATEGUI, president, Juan Jose CALDERA, national coordinator]; Social Christian Party or COPEI [Luis HERRERA Campins, president, and Donald RAMIREZ, secretary general]; Democratic Action or AD [David MORALES Bello, president, and Luis ALFARO Ucero, secretary general]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [Felipe MUJICA, president, and Leopoldo PUCHI, secretary general]; Radical Cause or La Causa R [Lucas MATHEUS, secretary general]; Homeland for All or PPT [Alexis ROSAS, director]

    Political pressure groups and leaders: FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action); VECINOS groups

    International organization participation: CAN, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief 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, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador John Francis MAISTO
    embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1060
    mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
    telephone: [58] (2) 977-2011
    FAX: [58] (2) 977-0843

    Flag description: three 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 seven white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)