Venezuela is a state in South America. It was the site of Christopher Columbus's first continental landing in South America, after which it soon became a Spanish colony.
The nation won independence in 1821 under the leadership of its native son, Simon Bolivar and it has been a democracy continuously since 1958.
It ranks high in bloggers' interest primarily because of its populist, anti-American president Hugo Chavez, who was elected in a landslide victory in 1998. He has been the subject of intense media interest, seen generally by rightest commentators as a dangerously undemocratic demagogue, and by progressive commentators generally as a positive force for social change and source of support for the poor.