Venezuela Military, Economy and Transportation

Venezuela Military


Economic overview: The economy is dominated by the oil sector, which accounts for about a third of GDP, about 80% of export earnings and more than half of state budget revenues. Official Venezuelan estimates point to GDP growth of 3.2% in 2000. A strong oil environment has contributed to the recovery from the 1999 slump. Be that as it may, the weakness of other sectors of the economy, except for the fuel and energy complex, and capital outflows undermine the possibilities of recovery. It is believed that the bolivar is overvalued by 50%. The government is implementing a recovery program after the massive floods and landslides of December 1999, which caused damage in the amount of $15-20 billion. See to know more about Venezuela in 2004.
of GDP: $146.2 billion in purchasing power parity (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 3.2% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $6,200 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 5%; industry: 24%; services: 71% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 67% (1997 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 1.5%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 35.6% (1995).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 13% (2000).
Labor force: 9.9 million people (1999).
Employment structure: service sector 64%, industry 23%, agriculture 13% (1997 est.).
Unemployment rate: 14% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $26.4 billion; expenditures: $27 billion, including capital expenditures – NA (2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: oil industry, mining of iron ore, production of building materials, food, textiles, steel, aluminum; car assembly.
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity generation: 81.215 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 32.16%; hydropower: 67.84%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 75.53 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 0 kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 0 kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: corn, sorghum, sugarcane, rice, bananas, vegetables, coffee; beef, pork, milk, egg; fish.
Export: $32.8 billion (free on board, 2000)
Exports: oil, bauxite and aluminium, steel, chemicals, agricultural products, semi-finished products.
Export partners: USA and Puerto Rico 57%, Colombia, Brazil, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Italy (1999).
Imports: $14.7 billion (free on board, 2000)
Import articles: raw materials, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, building materials.
Import partners: USA 53%, Japan, Colombia, Italy, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada (1999).
External debt: $34 billion (2000). Economic Assistance Recipient: $35 million, additional flood relief assistance pending (1999).
Economic aid donor:
Currency: bolivar.
Currency code: VEB.
Exchange rate: VEB/USD – 699.700 (January 2001), 679.960 (2000), 605.717 (1999), 547.556 (1998), 488.635 (1997), 417.333 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 2.6 million; however, a total of 3.5 million main lines have been installed (1998).
Mobile cell phones: 2 million (1998).
Phone system: modern and expanding; domestic: national satellite system with 3 earth stations; the quality of telephone services in rural areas has recently been substantially improved; there is an intensive transition to digital technologies in the central telephone systems and trunk communication lines; an intracity fiber-optic network is being laid, offering digital multimedia communication services; international: 3 submarine coaxial cables; ground satellite stations – 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Panamsat; participates with Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in the construction of an international fiber optic network.
Broadcast stations: AM -201, FM – no data (20 in Caracas), shortwave – 11 (1998).
Radio receivers: 10.75 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 66 (and 45 repeaters) (1997).
Televisions: 4.1 million (1997)
Internet country code: ve
Internet service providers: 16 (2000).
Number of users: 400,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total: 584 km (248 km privately owned); with standard gauge: 584 km (1.435 m gauge).
Roads: total: 96,155 km; coated: 32,308 km; unpaved: 63,847 km (1997 est.)
Waterways: 7,100 km; the Orinoco River and Lake Maracaibo are accessible to ocean-going vessels.
Pipelines: for crude oil -6,370 km; for oil products – 480 km; for natural gas – 4,010 km.
Ports and harbours: Amuay, Bajo Grande, La Guayra, La Salina, Maracaibo, Matanzas, Palua, Punta Cardon, Puerto Cabello, Puerto la Cruz, Puerto Ordaz, Puerto Sucre, El Tablaso.
Merchant navy: total: 36 ships (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 490,160 gross register tons / 897,694 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 7, cargo ships – 10, liquefied gas tankers – 2, cargo-passenger ships – 1, oil tankers – 7, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 8, coastal passenger ships – 1 (2000 est.).
Airports: 371 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 124; over 3,047 m: 4; from 2438 to 3047 m:12; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 32; from 914 to 1523 m:59; less than 914 m: 17 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 247; from 1524 to 2437 m: 10; from 914 to 1523 m:97; less than 914 m: 140 (2000 est.). Helipads: 1 (2000 est.).

Armed Forces

Branches of the armed forces: the national armed forces (Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales) include the ground forces (Fuerzas Terrestres, or Ejercito), the Navy (Fuerzas Navales, or Armada), the Air Force (Fuerzas Aereas, or Aviacion), the support forces (national guard) (Fuerzas Armadas de Cooperacion, Guardia Nacional).
Enlistment age: 18 years old.
Total Military Manpower: Male 15 to 49: 6,524,809 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men from 15 to 49 pets: 4,701,062 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: men: 246,185 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $934 million (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 0.9% (1999).

International Issues

International Issues International Disputes: claims Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River; maritime border dispute with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela.
Illicit drugs: illegal production of small amounts of opium for international trade; large quantities of cocaine and heroin transit through Venezuela from Colombia to the US and Europe; an important center for money laundering; an active eradication program is mainly directed against the opium poppy; increased drug-related activity by Colombian rebels on the border.

Venezuela Military