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A country with a large biodiversity, Venezuela is divided into 23 states (estados), the Venezuelan Capital District and the aforementioned dependencies. The capital city is Caracas, where resides the government along the legislative body. The country gained independence from Spain in 1821, and was one of the three nations that formed the Great Colombia. The economy is most based on the petroleum industry, depending also on the agricultural sector. The official language is Spanish, although several indigenous languages are spoken by aboriginal tribes through the nation.
On 2 June 2010, Chávez declared an "economic war" due to increasing shortages in Venezuela. The crisis intensified under the Maduro government, growing more severe as a result of low oil prices in early 2015, and a drop in Venezuela's oil production from lack of maintenance and investment. The government failed to cut spending in the face of falling oil revenues, and has dealt with the crisis by denying its existence and violently repressing opposition. Extrajudicial killings by the Venezuelan government became common, with the United Nations (UN) reporting 5,287 killings by the Special Action Forces in 2017, with at least another 1,569 killings recorded in the first six months of 2019; the UN had "reasonable grounds to believe that many of these killings constitute extrajudicial executions" and characterized the security operations as "aimed at neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing political opponents and people critical of the government". The UN also stated that the Special Action Forces "would plant arms and drugs and fire their weapons against the walls or in the air to suggest a confrontation and to show the victim had resisted authority" and that some of the killings were "done as a reprisal for [the victims'] participation in anti-government demonstrations". Political corruption, chronic shortages of food and medicine, closure of companies, unemployment, deterioration of productivity, authoritarianism, human rights violations, gross economic mismanagement and high dependence on oil have also contributed to the worsening crisis. (Full article...)
Ramírez was signed by the San Diego Padres in 2000 as an outfielder, but he was released in 2001. The Reds signed him in 2003 as a pitcher, and he reached the major leagues in 2008, when he made four starts for the Reds. The next year, he appeared in 11 games in relief for the Reds. After the season, the Tampa Bay Rays claimed him off waivers, but they released him. The Boston Red Sox claimed him off waivers, and he spent 2010 in the minor leagues for them. He signed with the Doosan Bears of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2011, but he was released before appearing in a game with them. (Full article...)
A four-day gun battle between security forces and armed gangs in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela, results in the deaths of more than 26 people and the wounding of 40 others. Authorities says that the fighting is now under control, but that there may still be a number of snipers in the streets. The killed people are identified as 22 gang members and four police officers, but a number of civilians also died in the clashes. (BBC)
The museum offers visitors the origins and growth of baseball in the world and the history of what is known as the National sport of Venezuela. It also shows, through its exhibitions, the most prominent players who have made significant achievements, as well as efforts to honor people who have highlighted the activity of baseball in Venezuela, recognizing and appreciating their impact on national culture and exalt those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport. (Full article...)
VEN-4-United States of Venezuela (Treasury)-1 peso (1811, First Issue)
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