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Venezuela, formally known as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country in northern South America that shares borders with Brazil, Colombia, and Guyana. The country has approximately 31,000,000 inhabitants and has been an independent nation from Spain since 1821 – 10 years after declaring themselves as such. But you probably learned this during your schooling – so let’s move on to some more fun facts about Venezuela!

Rejected help after Hurricane Katrina…

After Hurricane Katrina, Venezuela was one of the first countries to offer assistance, with the government pledging over $1 million, several mobile hospitals, water purification plants, canned food, bottled water, heating oil, 1,100 doctors and 26.4 tons of medicine. Shockingly, this aid was rejected by the U.S. government [source]

Saving up does pay off…

Venezuela holds more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, yet produces less than a quarter of what Saudi Arabia does annually. [source]

“Please, arrest me”…

In 2013, inmates in a Venezuelan prison opened a nightclub. The nightclub included, among other things, strippers. [source]

Probably not that densely populated…

There is an area in the country where lightning strikes occur between 280 to 3,600 times per hour, 300 nights a year. It’s called the Catatumbo Lightning. [source]

Incredibly tumultuous…

The country in question is one of the most violent places on Earth, with an average of one person being murdered every 21 minutes. [source]

Remained Spanish until 1811…

Christopher Columbus arrived in Venezuela in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas, and by 1522, the first permanent Spanish settlements in South America were established in what is now Venezuela. [source]

I wouldn’t want to encounter one of those…

Remains of bones suggest that the country was once inhabited by guinea pigs the size of kitchen tables. However, you don’t need to worry, as this was about 8 million years ago. These guinea pigs were known by the Latin name “Phoberomys pattersoni“. [source]

First to abolish…

The South American country was the world’s first to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, doing so through its constitution in 1863. [source]

Regarded as a prosperous nation…

Venezuela had the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the world in 1950; only the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand had a higher GDP. At present, they rank around 44th. [source]

Sells oil cheaply to neighbor in exchange for services…

Venezuela provides Cuba with 53,000 barrels (8,000 m³) of oil below market value per day in exchange for the services of thousands of doctors, teachers, sports trainers and other essential professionals. [source]

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