The official denomination of the state was changed, in accordance with the constitution of April 15, 1953, from Estados Unidos de Venezuela to that of República de Venezuela.
The Venezolan population, which at the 1950 census was 5,034,838 residents, rose in 1959 to 6,607,475 (7 per km 2); more than half of this increase is due to immigration.
Economic conditions. – Venezuelan agriculture is still based on the crops of coffee, cotton, sugar cane and tobacco. This is grown on 6-7000 ha and in 1960 gave a product of about 66,000 q, and fueled the manufacture with a production of 71.1 million cigars and 4475 million cigarettes. Sugar cane produced 1,900,000 q of product in the same year. The cultivation of cotton has had a notable increase, extending over 8000 ha in 1951-52, and over 33,000 ha in 1960 (prod. 80,000 q). The production of coffee is constantly increasing, passing from 390,000 q in 1953 to 450,000 q in 1960. Cocoa, also constantly increasing, even in 1960 gave a product of 101,000 q out of 110,000 ha. Banana production is around 550,000 q per year. Among the cereals the corn which was cultivated in 1950-51 on 342.000 ha (prod. 3.610. 000 q) is now restricted to 297,000 ha (3,660,000 q). The area cultivated with wheat also decreased considerably compared to 1950-51: from 13,000 ha it dropped to 4000 ha in 1959 (prod. 30,000 q). Rice, covering an area of 22,000 hectares, produced a product of 137,000 quintals in 1960.
The zootechnical patrimony from 1951-52 to 1956-57 has had a notable increase; cattle rose from 5,632,000 to 7,162,000; pigs from 1,467,000 to 2,362,000; sheep from 101,000 to 176,000; horses from 343,000 to 533,000; donkeys from 390,000 to 427,000; finally, the mules have more than doubled, having risen from 62,000 to 130,000. A decrease is recorded only for goats, which went from 1,322,000 to 921,000. Fishing yields, on average, 700-800,000 q per year. For Venezuela 2002, please check commit4fitness.com.
Oil production has been increasing dramatically; 101,184,000 tons were produced in 1954, 151,252,000 tons in 1960. Natural gas production in 1959 was 4192 million m 3. 95% of the oil is exported and Venezuela is in 2nd place among the big oil countries. In December 1948, the Ulé-Dabajuro-Amuay oil pipeline, which carries oil directly from the excavation area to the refining center, entered service; it is 252 km long, has a diameter of 60-65 cm and for a stretch of 28 km is submarine, across the Gulf of Coro; in addition, there are 400 km of gas pipelines throughout the country. The oil, which was all transported to the nearby Dutch islands of Aruba and Curaçao for refining, is now being processed in as many as 8 refineries in full operation and which can be upgraded to reach a capacity of 65 million liters per day.
Even the exploitation of iron minerals (the most important deposit is that of Cerro Bolívar, see in this App.) Is assuming ever more notable proportions; in 1960 12,600,000 tons were extracted, almost completely exported, especially to the USA, but a large steel plant is being built in Matanza for on-site processing. New deposits of copper and manganese, the extent of which is not yet known, have been discovered in the states of Mérida and Táchira. The installed energy in 1960 was 620,000 kW, of which 100,000 were hydroelectric; the energy produced in 1960 was 2,900 million kWh. The expansion of the Caroní water plant is underway, which will supply the steel plants in Matanza. In 1960 a nuclear reactor (3000 kW) came into operation in Caracas.
In the textile branch, the cotton mill has some importance, with 95,000 spindles and 3752 looms.
Communications. – The merchant navy in 1960 had 100 ships (only those with more than 100 t) for a total tonnage of 348,865 tons. The port of Maracaibo has been significantly expanded; in fact in 1956 a canal was opened (over which in 1958 a bridge about 9 km long was thrown) with a length of 22 km and a depth of 12 m, so that now even large ships will be able to enter the port. In 1953 a new port was built on the Orinoco, at the mouth of the Caroní, Puerto Ordaz, connected by rail to Cerro Bolívar.
The railways in 1954 had a development of 1035 km. But the construction of other lines is planned, some of which are already in operation, for a total of 4250 km. In 1959, the 173 km Puerto Cabello-Barquisimeto line was inaugurated.
The current road network, enriched with modern and wide motorways, is 24,923 km. Civil aviation records for 1959 a movement of 407,739,000 passengers / km for 24,684,000 km flown.
Foreign trade. – For the period 1955-59 the value of imports was 4301 million bolivars per year, on average, and that of exports of 7396 million bolivars. In addition to oil, which absorbs 90% of the value of exports, coffee, iron ore, wood, leather, etc. are exported.
Finances. – For the state, the tax revenue from oil accounts for about three quarters of budget revenues and almost all of the total foreign exchange requirement. The banking system of the Venezuela includes the central bank (Banco Central de Venezuela), the Banco Industrial de Venezuela. Banco Obrero, Banco Agricolo y Pecuario and credit institutions for regional development, which together form the public sector of the system. There are also 20 commercial banks and 7 branches of foreign banks. In 1958 the Banco Hipotecario de Credito Urbano and a new commercial bank (Banco Republica) also began to operate. The official parity declared to the Monetary Fund is 3.35 bolivares for 1 US dollar, at which all imports are currently regulated. The transfer of currencies to the central bank by the oil companies is instead done at a lower exchange rate (3.09-3.05).
History. – The three-way junta, directed by col. Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, who took power following the 1948 uprising, soon revealed his despotic character by suspending all civil liberties and suppressing the opposition parties whose leaders were imprisoned. Chalbaud was assassinated on November 13, 1950 and the leadership of the country was entrusted to Germán Suárez Flamerich. The government, however, yielding to strong public pressure, had to call the elections which took place on November 30, 1952. The center-left Unión Republicana Democrática was able to secure the votes of the Acción Democrática (declared illegal) and he would have won a sure victory if serious electoral fraud had not occurred. The situation became confused and the military intervened again and entrusted the power (December 3) to col. Marcos Pérez Jiménez. On April 15, 1953, a new constitution was approved and President Jiménez was confirmed in office for 5 years, establishing a new dictatorship in Venezuela On the other hand, the enormous increase in oil production and the strong demand for the product influenced by the Iranian crisis of 1951 and the Suez question (1956) brought considerable economic benefits to Venezuela which transformed the financial situation of the country which has become one of the most prosperous in the world. Massive public works were carried out, especially in the city of Caracas, and, with the cooperation of two Italian companies, a steel mill was set up (31 December 1955) which should meet the needs of the country. The mass of the population, especially that of the rural areas, did not however benefit from the new wealth, exploited only by a small minority of privileged people. On 15 December 1957 Pérez Jiménez was reconfirmed as president by a popular plebiscite but on 1 January 1958 a general uprising marked the end of the dictatorial regime (23 January). The fall of Pérez Jiménez, who was replaced by a “patriotic junta” chaired by Admiral Wolfang Larrozábal, has many similarities with that of Perón in Argentina: his methods had alienated him from the sympathies of the military and created serious conflicts with the Catholic Church ; to this must be added the discontent of the intellectual circles and the activity of the democratic parties. A violent demonstration against the USA took place in Caracas on the occasion of the visit (May 13) of Vice President Nixon who was outraged by the crowd. In 1958 the Venezuela it was the scene of serious unrest: coup attempts (23 July and 7 September) and various street demonstrations and strikes promoted by far-left organizations. Rómolo Betancourt, of Acción Democrática, Rafael Caldera of the Christian-Socialist party and Admiral Larrazábal of the Unión Democrática, with the support of the Communist party, showed up in the presidential elections on 7 December. The winner was Rómolo Betancourt who was inaugurated on May 13, 1959. The opposition did not calm the subsequent period characterized by terrorist attacks attributed mostly to the Dominican Republic with which Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations (June 12). Meanwhile the the oil industry was in crisis due to union pressure and the contraction of sales on the European market. Betancourt, in order to promote the development of the country in other sectors, signed (March 5, 1960) the law for land reform and announced a vast four-year plan (April 29) with an expenditure of 8 billion dollars, for the creation of an area industrial in the state of Bolívar, south of the Orinoco, where there are iron deposits among the richest in the world. On June 26, President Betancourt was wounded in an attack attributed to the Trujillo regime. Invested in the OAS issue, the accusation was recognized as founded by the meeting of 21 American foreign ministers who, in San José de Costa Rica (August 20, 1960), condemned the Dominican Republic.