Venezuela is awash with natural resources, which in recent years have been significantly affected by high inflation, declining state revenue and continued political unrest.
Venezuela has rich natural resources, including diamonds, bauxite, gold, iron ore, coal, natural gas andpetroleum.
But its economy depends largely on oil, which accounts for almost 98 percent of the country’s total export revenue.
Venezuela also has an estimated 150 tons of gold reserves, the world’s 25th largest, according to a report published last June by the World Gold Council.
After being Latin America’s second largest coal producer for about a decade, production fell sharply in 2006 after the late Hugo Chavez won a third presidential term.
Venezuela also boasts the Western world’s second largest natural gas reserves, with an estimated 5.6 trillion cubic meters.
The country’s proven oil reserve, meanwhile, is recognized as the world’s largest.
Its crude oil is very heavy by international standards, however, meaning it must be processed by specialized refineries.
Venezuela also continues to be one of the largest suppliers of oil to the U.S., to which it sends roughly 1.4 million barrels per day.
In recent years, Venezuela’s mining and energy sectors have been dogged by high inflation, decreasing revenue, and ongoing political instability.
And since Chavez’s death in 2013, Venezuela’s political situation has remained beset by crisis.
The South American country has been rocked by popular protests since Jan. 10, when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions rose after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan.
23 — a move supported by the U.S.
and a number of European and Latin American states.
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