• Spanish colonization begins.

  • After Napoleon's invasion of Spain, Venezuelans take advantage of France's weak position and declare independence. 

  • Venezuela joins Gran Colombia, which consists of territories of present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Brazil and Guyana.

  • Venezuela leaves Gran Colombia.

  • As a result of failing to repay loans, Venezuela's ports are blockaded by the British, Italian and German warships.

  • Venezuela becomes the world's largest exporter of oil.

  • Venezuela's currency peaks against the US dollar due to the oil boom, as well as the oil and steel industries becoming more nationalized. 

  • After a decline in world oil prices, the government cuts welfare spending as oil was its biggest export. 

  • Severe floods and mudslides hit north Venezuela, killing tens of thousands of people.

  • President Chavez passes 49 laws aimed at redistributing land and business, which was seen as a move to concentrate economic and political power in the state.

  • The government announces that major energy and telecommunications companies will be nationalized, and that the government will take control of major oil projects in Venezuela as part of the nationalization drive. Two leading US oil companies refuse to hand the government majority control of their operations, which are later expropriated from them.

  • Expansionary monetary policies and currency controls in an attempt to resolve hyper-inflation results in created opportunities for arbitrage and corruption and fueled a rapid increase in black market activity.


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