Located on the northern coast of South America. It is bordered by Colombia on the west, Brazil on the south, Guyana on the east, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east. Venezuela claims all Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River, The country has extremely high biodiversity (ranked 7th in the world's list of nations with the most number of species), with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil.
The recovery of oil prices in the early 2000s gave Venezuela oil funds not seen since the 1980s. The Venezuelan government then established populist policies that initially boosted the Venezuelan economy and increased social spending, significantly reducing economic inequality and poverty. However, such policies later became controversial since they destabilized the nation's economy, resulting in hyperinflation, an economic depression and a drastic increase in poverty.
Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north. Capital (and largest city): Caracas. Currency: Bolívar fuerte (VEF).
The bolívar fuerte - currency of Venezuela since 1 January 2008 - replaced the original bolívar (Bs., VEB) at the rate of Bs.F. 1 = Bs. 1,000 because of constant inflation.
On 7 December 2016, a new series of banknotes (recolors of the previous notes) in denominations of 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 bolívares fuertes was unveiled to the Venezuelan public. Days later on 11 December, President Nicolás Maduro wrote into law that the 100 Bs.F. would be pulled from circulation within 72 hours because "mafias" were allegedly storing those particular bills to drive inflation. The deadline for exchanging the 100 bolívares fuertes note was delayed multiple times.