Venezuela ( ( listen) VEN-ə-ZWAYL-ə; American Spanish: [beneˈswela]), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi). The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2 (61,600 sq mi). For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 (27,527 sq mi) of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 (8,581 sq mi) in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 (182,050 sq mi) of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 (38,567 sq mi) of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence, which was not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia. It gained full independence as a country in 1830. During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) until the mid-20th century. Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments. Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former coup-involved career officer Hugo Chávez and the launch of the Bolivarian Revolution. The revolution began with a 1999 Constituent Assembly, where a new Constitution of Venezuela was written. This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela).
Cachapa with shredded cheese
Cachapas are a part of traditional Venezuelan cuisine. They are made of maize in the form of masa. They are made as fresh corn is ground and then mixed into a batter of the consistency of pancakes, yet slightly thicker and lumpier. It is then cooked like a pancake. It is served with many toppings, but traditionally with butter or margarine and white cheese (queso blanco) on top.
They can be prepared as an appetizer or a full breakfast, depending on the size. Cachapas could be very elaborate, some including different kinds of cheese, milky cream, and jam.
Venezuelan Corn Cakes: Cachapas Recipe
10 ears of corn
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup milk
Corn oil, for sauteing
1/4 lb fresh cheese
Remove kernels form husk of corn using a sharp knife. Puree in a blender. Mix in the sugar, milk, and salt. Heat griddle to medium heat, lightly coat with corn oil. Spoon mixture onto hot griddle to form "pancakes" of your desired size. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, and fold with a big piece of cheese inside
The Cachapas are eaten with "Queso de Mano" Hand Cheese, a soft mozzarella like cheese and also with fried Pork on the side.
Did you know...
- April 2, 1819 – Battle of Las Queseras del Medio: José Antonio Páez defeats an army of Spanish royalists with 154 llaneros. There were only three casualties in his army.
- April 5, 1941 – Venezuela and Colombia sign the Treaty of Demarcation of Frontiers and Navigation of Common Rivers, in which Venezuela conceded 108,000 km² of its territory to that country.
- April 5, 1969 – Death of Rómulo Gallegos.
- April 7, 1817 – Battle of La Casa Fuerte of Barcelona: After a siege that lasted several days, Royalist Juan de Aldana conducts a takeover of the Republican stronghold in Barcelona. The fact was nicknamed the Massacre of La Casa Fuerte.
- April 7, 1822 – Battle of Bomboná: Simón Bolívar, with 3,000 soldiers, defeats Basilio García, probably the most violent battle of Bolívar's campaign.
- April 7, 1928 – A military uprising takes place, soon joined by students and other civilians, in the means of overthrowing the Juan Vicente Gómez dictatorship. The uprising ultimately failed.
- April 8, 1843 – The Colonia Tovar is founded by 373 German immigrants. Manuel Felipe Tovar and Martín Tovar sponsored its creation, hence its name.
- April 9, 1828 – The Ocaña Convention is established.
- April 10, 1834 – The Law of Freedom of Contracts is passed on in the Congress. Also called the Law of Usury and Ley del 10 de abril, the law enabled moneylenders to set an interest rate to peasants urged of money.
- April 10, 1929 – Death of Lisandro Alvarado, medician, historian, linguist and philologist.
- April 11, 1817 – Battle of San Félix: Manuel Piar, with 2,200 troops, defeats Miguel de La Torre near La Mesa de Chirica.
- April 11, 2002 – As a part of a general strike against the government of Hugo Chávez, a march tries to reach the Miraflores presidential palace, but its stopped and confronated by gunmen. As a product, a popular revolt broke out, with an estimated of 29 death and a unred wounded. By the end of the day, the leaders of the National Armed Forces rebelled against the government, leading to the toppling of Chávez several hours later.
- April 12, 2002 – An interim government led by Pedro Carmona is established.
- April 13, 2002 – Chávez is restituted to the presidency after a number of revolts in his behalf.
- April 14 – Day of Pan-Americanism.
- April 17, 1818 – Simón Bolívar suffers an attempt of murder by Royalists spies infiltrated in his camp.
- April 18, 1828 – An uprising exploits in Chuquisaca in order to kill Antonio José de Sucre and to topple his government.
- April 19, 1810 – Venezuelan coup d'etát of April 19, 1810: As a product of popular demonstrations in Caracas, the Governor of the Captaincy General of Venezuela, Vicente Emparan, resigns and a junta is established.
- April 19, 1983 – The Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex in Caracas is inaugurated by President Luis Herrera Campins.
- April 23, 1936 – Death of Teresa de la Parra.
- April 24, 1863 – The Coche Agreement was signed between the government forces and the Federalists during the Federal War.
- April 24, 1905 – Birth of Raúl Leoni, 56th President of Venezuela.
- April 24, 1989 – Death of Edgar Sanabria, lawyer and member of the military junta following the overthrowal of Marcos Pérez Jiménez in 1958.
- April 25, 1812 – Domingo de Monteverde occupies the city of San Carlos. An enormous mob of women confronted his army and the troops sacking the city.
- April 25, 1914 – Birth of Marcos Pérez Jiménez, 52nd President of Venezuela and dictator.
- April 26, 1837 – José Antonio Páez crushed an armed revolt in the city of San Juan de Payara. Due to this action, he was later known the León de Payara (Lion of Payara).
- April 28, 1777 – Independentist leader Manuel Piar is born in Willemstad, Curaçao.
- April 29, 1782 – Birth of Antonio Nicolás Briceño, lawyer and Independentist leader, a.k.a. El Diablo.
- April 29, 1870 – Death of Juan Crisóstomo Falcón, 17th and 18th President of Venezuela.
- April 30, 1826 – A military and political movement known as La Cosiata, led by José Antonio Páez, broke out in Valencia, in order to reform the Cúcuta Constitution and to separate Venezuela from the Gran Colombia.
News and Headlines
• Andrés Eloy Blanco, "Píntame Angelitos Negros".
- Pintor que pintas tu tierra,
- si quieres pintar tu cielo,
- cuando pintes angelitos,
- acuérdate de tu pueblo;
- y al lado del ángel rubio
- y junto al ángel trigueño,
- aunque la Virgen sea blanca,
- píntame angelitos negros.
English: "Painter, you that paint your land, / if you want to paint your heaven, / when you're painting little angels, / remember where you're from; / and beside the blond angel / and next to the brunette angel, / even if the Virgin is white, / paint me black little angels."
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