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This new constitution officially changed the name of the country to República Bolivariana de Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela).Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and federal dependencies (covering Venezuela's offshore islands).They spun vegetable fibers to weave into textiles and mats for housing.
Oil was discovered in the early 20th century and, today, Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil.
Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues.
The stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded the navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, of the city of Venice, so he named the region Veneziola "Piccola Venezia".
The German language 16th century-term for the area, Klein-Venedig, also means little Venice (literally "small Venice").
The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples.
In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence which was not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia.
Leaf-shaped tools from this period, together with chopping and planoconvex scraping implements, have been found exposed on the high riverine terraces of the Rio Pedregal in western Venezuela.
Late Pleistocene hunting artifacts, including spear tips, have been found at a similar series of sites in northwestern Venezuela known as "El Jobo"; according to radiocarbon dating, these date from 13,000 to 7,000 BC.
It gained full independence as a separate country in 1830.
During the 19th century, Venezuela suffered political turmoil and autocracy, remaining dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) until the mid-20th century.
In addition to indigenous peoples known today, the population included historical groups such as the Kalina (Caribs), Auaké, Caquetio, Mariche, and Timoto-Cuicas.