Economy The economy is based on the oil wells that are
However, economy is also built on farming and ranching the following:
corn, rice, apples, citrus fruits, bananas, potatoes, cotton, sugar
cane, coffee, tobacco, cattle, goats, pigs, and fish. Venezuela's
economy also consists of mining and industry of the following resources:
bauxite, iron ore, gold, diamonds, salt, coal, natural gas, and
petroleum. Tourism also plays a role in Venezuela's economy. Venezuelan
territory also includes several islands and islets in the Antillean
Sea. Some of these islands and islets are inhabited.
The History Christopher Columbus arrived in what is
now Venezuela in 1498, during his third voyage to the New World.
According to some historians, the region was named by Amerigo Vespucci,
who, on seeing the native Indian houses built on stilts over
water, called it "Little Venice," or Venezuela. The first
quarter century of European contact was limited to the northeast
coast and confined to slave hunting and pearl fishing; the first
permanent Spanish settlement, Cumaná, was not made until
1523. In the second quarter of the 16th century, the centre of activity
shifted to the northwest region, where the Welser banking house
of Augsburg purchased exploration and colonization rights; German
attempts to find precious metals and to occupy the area failed,
however, and Spain repossessed the area in 1546.
Caracas was founded in 1567, and by 1600 more than 20 settlements
dotted the Venezuelan Andes and the Caribbean coast. During the
17th and 18th centuries, the Llanos and Maracaibo regions were taken
over gradually by various Roman Catholic missionary orders.
The colonial economy was based on agriculture and stock raising.
Corn (maize), beans, and beef were the domestic consumption staples;
sugar, cacao, tobacco, and hides were the principal exports. Venezuelan
society during the colonial era was headed by agents of the Spanish
crown. Royal bureaucrats monopolized the top governing posts, and
clergymen dominated the high church offices. Creoles (native-born
whites), however, owned the colony's wealth, principally land, and
used it to hold the nonwhite races in bondage: mestizos (persons
of mixed ancestry) were generally without property, social status,
or political influence; Indians performed forced labour on interior
farms or were segregated on marginal lands; blacks were slaves on
the coastal plantations.
In theory, Venezuela was governed by the Spanish crown through the
Audiencia of Santo Domingo in the 16th and 17th centuries and through
the Viceroy of New Granada (at Bogotá) from its incorporation
in 1717. In practice, however, the Venezuelans exercised a great
deal of local autonomy throughout the colonial era. Source