By Moshe Brawer (auth.)
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Extra resources for Atlas of South America
B Trade Trade is mainly with the United States, which provided 47 percent of the country's imports and took 51 percent of the exports in 1985. Other important trading partners have been West Germany, Canada, and Italy. Tourism: 317,000, mainly from the United States, visited Venezuela during 1986. HISTORY Northern Venezuela was sparsely inhabited by small, scattered Carib and Arawak tribes when the first Europeans (Spaniards) explored the coastal areas and established their first settlements early in the sixteenth century.
Only in recent years have democratic regimes gained control in most South American countries (although some still appear fragile) and there are clear indications in most countries of advancement toward a more progressive social and political order. There are still a number of unsettled territorial disputes between South American countries, although these have not in recent times caused any serious crisis between the states concerned. Claims to large sections of the Antarctic continent and neighboring islands are made by Argentina (between longtitudes 25° and 74° west) and Chile (between longitudes 53° and 90° west).
The ranges, which rise to a height of 2,700 meters (9,000 feet), and the intermont basin- the Valencia Basin- contain the most densely inhabited urban and rural areas of the country. The capital, Caracas, occupies a small river valley on the northern range, I 0 kilometers (6 miles) from the Caribbean coast. The northeastern part of the highlands is separated from the Central Highlands by a wide gap occupied by the Gulf of Barcelona. This is the lowest, most faulted and denuded part of the highlands.
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