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This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).
Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and federal dependencies (covering Venezuela's offshore islands).
Amazed by the great offshore current of freshwater which deflected his course eastward, Columbus expressed in a letter to Isabella and Ferdinand that he must have reached Heaven on Earth (terrestrial paradise): Great signs are these of the Terrestrial Paradise, for the site conforms to the opinion of the holy and wise theologians whom I have mentioned.
And likewise, the [other] signs conform very well, for I have never read or heard of such a large quantity of fresh water being inside and in such close proximity to salt water; the very mild temperateness also corroborates this; and if the water of which I speak does not proceed from Paradise then it is an even greater marvel, because I do not believe such a large and deep river has ever been known to exist in this world.
They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles and mats for housing.
They are credited with having invented the arepa, a staple in Venezuelan cuisine.
The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis.
Inflation peaked at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rose to 66% in 1995 – are widely blamed for destabilizing the nation's economy.
The German language 16th century-term for the area, Klein-Venedig, also means little Venice (literally "small Venice").
Oil was discovered in the early 20th century and, today, Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil.
Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues.
However, Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew, gave a different account.
In his work Summa de geografía, he states that the crew found indigenous people who called themselves the Veneciuela.