This Week in Geographic History: Venezuelan Independence Day

We’re slowing down for the summer! Instead of our usual roundup of “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events, here’s a closer look at one historic event that connects to something in the news today. We’ve also matched it with a map or visual, background information, and additional resources.

Wednesday, July 5

Scanned by: Retouched by: DT-PK QC'd by: DT-RJf

In this photograph from 1940, women display the Venezuelan flag in Caracas, the country’s capital. Photograph by Luis Marden, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Venezuelan Independence Day

Though Venezuela declared its independence from Spain in 1811, it did not become a sovereign nation until after a decade-long war.

Current Event: Political and economic turmoil in Venezuela

The recent helicopter attack on Venezuela’s Supreme Court and Interior Ministry highlights the crisis that has engulfed the nation since President Nicolas Maduro took office in 2013.

Map:

Venezuela

Background:

Timeline of the crisis in Venezuela

Hugo Chavez Dies

The Human Geography of South America

Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Simon Bolivar

Discussion Questions:  

  1. The recent helicopter incident occurred partially in response to President Maduro’s attempt to rewrite the constitution. What changes do you think Maduro wants to make to the constitution?
  2. Venezuela’s economy depends on oil. Do you think that makes the country more or less stable? Why?

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