Venezuela/Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
conventional short form: Venezuela
local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela
local short form: Venezuela

Data code: VE

Government type: federal republic

Capital: Caracas

Administrative divisions: 23 states (estados, singular - estado),1 federal district* (distrito federal), and 1 federal dependency** (dependencia federal); Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Cojedes, Delta Amacuro, Dependencias Federales**, Distrito Federal*, Falcon, Guarico, Lara, Merida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta, Portuguesa, Sucre, Tachira, Trujillo, Vargas, Yaracuy, Zulia
note: the federal dependency consists of 11 federally controlled island groups with a total of 72 individual islands

Independence: 5 July 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 5 July (1811)

Constitution: 30 December 1999

Legal system: based on organic laws as of July 1999; open, adversarial court system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 6 December 1998 (next to be held 28 May 2000 under new constitution)
election results: Hugo CHAVEZ Frias elected president; percent of vote - 57%
note: government coalition - Patriotic Pole or Polo Patriotico consists of MVR, MAS, and PPT

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional; under the 1999 constitution, the bicameral Congress of the Republic has been replaced by a unicameral National Assembly; the total number of seats in the new National Assembly has not yet been determined, but members will be elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; three seats will be reserved for the indigenous peoples of Venezuela
elections: election for deputies to the new National Assembly are scheduled to be held in May 2000
election results: NA; elections to be held in May 2000

Judicial branch: Supreme Tribunal of Justice or Tribuna Suprema de Justicia, magistrates are elected by the National Assembly for a single 12-year term

Political parties and leaders: Democratic Action or AD [leader NA]; Fifth Republic Movement or MVR [leader NA]; Homeland for All or PPT [leader NA]; Movement Toward Socialism or MAS [leader NA]; National Convergence or Convergencia [leader NA]; Radical Cause or La Causa R [leader NA]; Social Christian Party or COPEI [leader NA]

Political pressure groups and leaders: FEDECAMARAS, a conservative business group; VECINOS groups; Venezuelan Confederation of Workers or CTV (labor organization dominated by the Democratic Action)

International organization participation: CAN, Caricom (observer), CCC, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, G- 3, G-11, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alfredo TORO Hardy
chancery: 1099 30th Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2214
FAX: [1] (202) 342-6820
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador John Francis MAISTO
embassy: Calle F con Calle Suapure, Colinas de Valle Arriba, Caracas 1060
mailing address: P. O. Box 62291, Caracas 1060-A; APO AA 34037
telephone: [58] (2) 975-6411
FAX: [58] (2) 975-6710

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of seven white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band