History: Venezuela (little Venice) on the Caribbean coast is the northernmost state of south America. Sighted by Columbus in 1498, it was formerly a Spanish colony. Venezuela became independent in 1811 and a republic in 1830. Military strongmen ruled Venezuela for most of the 20th century. Since 1959, it has had democratically elected governments. Venezuela is the richest and most urbanized Latin American nation. the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, with an overall drop of 979 m. is in Venezuela.

Economy: Venezuela, a member of the OPEC, is one of the world’s leading producers of oil and the largest oil exporter outside the Middle East. Venezuela is rice in diamonds and ranks 8th in world production. Other minerals are iron, steel, aluminium, copper, tin and manganese. Agricultural products include coffee, cocoa, bananas, maize, rice and sugar.

President Chavez won a landslide victory for a six-year tern, in August, 2000 capturing 59% of the votes.

Recent Events: Telesur, a regional television channel financed mainly by Venezuela’s government and backed by Argentina, Cuba and Uruguay, began transmissions in July, 2005. In August, a Colombian airliner carrying around 152 passengers and a crew of eight crashed in a remote area of northwest Venezuela, killing all 160 on board.


History: The Socialist Republic of Vietnam (comprising former North and South Vietnam) is a mountainous country in south east Asia. Running almost its entire length, is a mountain chain-the Annamite Chain. On one side of the mountain chain is the fertile Red River delta in the south. The two deltas form the rice bowl of the country.

Vietnam War was fought mainly in South Vietnam from 1954 between US backed government forces and Viet Cong. Guerrillas supported by North Vietnam and soviet armaments. US support of south began in 1961 and intensified from 1964. War formally concluded in 1973 but guerrilla activities continued in south. South Vietnam fell to communist forces in 1975 and gradual political reintegration followed. The unification of North and South Vietnam into the socialist Republic of Vietnam took place formally on July 2,1976. The Northern capital, flag, anthem, emblem and currency were applied to the new state.

Economy: The country is primarily agricultural. Rice is the dominant crop and an export item. Other crops are rubber, sugarcane, coffee, maize and tea. Minerals include coal, tin, copper, chromium and phosphate. Industry: Cement, metallurgy, chemicals, paper, food processing and textiles.

After 3 million died defending their country, women outnumber men three to one in Vietnam.

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