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Venezuela has been in the news a lot lately for all their negatives. Food in short supply, riots in the streets, high poverty and inflation.

But there are some fun and interesting things about this South American Nation that you might not be aware of.

Here are a few.

Fun Facts About Venezuela

  • Explorer Amerigo Vespucci saw native stilt house in Lake Maracaibo and named the area Veneziola (Little Venice in Italian). He is also credited with naming America.
  • The same Lake Maracaibo has persistent lightning storms for ten hours a night, 140 to 160 nights per year. That’s 1.2 million lightning strikes per year. I would not want to be a lifeguard there.
  • You will pay more for water than you will for oil in both Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.
  • Venezuela’s Angel Falls is 17 times higher than Niagara Falls.
  • We hate 3 to 4 percent inflation in the US. Imagine Venezuela’s 2015 record setting 141 percent inflation rate. Highest in the world.
  • No death row in Venezuela. In 1863 they became the first country in the world to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.
  • Following Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution about 6 percent of the population left the country. Over 1.5 million.
  • Talk about no Safe Zone. In 2015 a person was murdered every 21 minutes in Venezuela. Most murderous place on Earth.
  • Military leader Simon Bolivar lead Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Bolivia to independence. Bolivia was named after him.
  • For the past nine years an unfinished skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela has become a vertical slum complete with grocery stores, hairdressers, and even an unlicensed dentist.
  • “Hey Sailor, new in town?” Believe it or not there is actually a nightclub inside a Venezuelan prison. I wonder if the convicts all get prettier at closing time like the Mickey Gilley song says.
  • Following Hurricane Katrina, Cuba offered medical aid and Venezuela offered gasoline along with $5 million in cash. The US said thanks but no thanks.

Some Final Thoughts

Every country on earth has good and bad. Right now a lot in Venezuela is bad. But Venezuela has been around for a long time.

Sooner or later the people will take their country back. Where is Simon Bolivar when you need him?

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