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Social conditions

Although Venezuela, thanks to its oil revenues, is a rich country relative to its neighbors in the region, the country has had a high proportion of poor people. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of VZS and acronym for Venezuela. In the 1980s and 1990s, the percentage of the poor in the population grew to about 60 percent, but in the 2000s that figure was halved due to a rising oil price. Average nutrition, life, writing and literacy improved, but there were still major differences between the city and the countryside. Large slums have also grown up in the big cities.

The social insurance system, which includes, for example, unemployment insurance and sickness insurance, has largely been replaced by other government programs, so-called missionaries, which are controlled directly by the president's office.

Registered unemployment is low, just over 7 per cent according to official figures (2014), but very many people work in the informal sector and fall outside social security systems and statistics.

Crime has increased dramatically over the last ten years and in 2015 the number of murders was 28,000 according to statistics from NGOs, making Venezuela one of the most violent countries in the world.

Society of Venezuela

1998 The start of the Bolivarian Revolution

On December 6, 1998, the leader of the 1992 coup attempt, Hugo Chávez, was elected president with 56.5% of the vote. In his accession speech, Chávez declared that he would extend the constitution, which he termed "dead," through a "peaceful revolution" to fight poverty and restructure the $ 23 billion foreign debt. dollars. to this end, a constitutional assembly was set up that within 6 months was to draft a new constitution.

In the first months of 1999, Chávez announced his "peaceful revolution" through his diplomatic corps and directed a television program that received and directly "solved" the people's issues and problems. In the election to the Constituent Assembly on July 25, 75% voted for Chávez's Patriotic Pol, thereby gaining an absolute majority in the assembly.

In September negotiations were held between the guerrilla organization ELN and the Colombian government in Venezuela. Chávez had begun to play an important role in the Colombian conflict, rejecting a request by the United States to use air bases in Venezuela to "fight the drug trade" in Colombia. Many saw the US's maneuvers as an attempt to invade Colombia and settle the country's guerrilla movements.

In a referendum on December 15, 70% voted in favor of the new constitution renaming the country "República Bolivariana de Venezuela" and dissolving the Congress. Only half of the voters voted, and the low turnout was due to, among other things. the extensive floods that ended up costing 50,000 lives.

On January 30, 2000, the Constitutional Assembly was dissolved as planned. Before then, however, it had set May 28 as the date for holding presidential and parliamentary elections. The opposition could not mark itself through parliament or the Constitutional Assembly, both dissolved. As presidential candidates, it asked Claudio Fermín of the National Assembly and the independent Francisco Arias - with the aim of "trapping Chávez".

The elections were ultimately held in June, and Chávez was re-elected by an overwhelming majority for the period up to 2006. In August, he undertook a trip where he met with the leaders of the major oil-producing countries. That led to harsh criticism from the United States after he met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad. Chavez was the first democratically elected head of state to visit Iraq since the 1990 Gulf War.


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