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Late Pleistocene hunting artifacts, including spear tips, have been found at a similar series of sites in northwestern Venezuela known as "El Jobo"; according to radiocarbon dating, these date from 13,000 to 7,000 BC.In addition to indigenous peoples known today, the population included historical groups such as the Kalina (Caribs), Auaké, Caquetio, Mariche, and Timoto-Cuicas.Venezuela covers 916,445 km There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains.Additionally, there is the Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.Spain's colonization of mainland Venezuela started in 1522, establishing its first permanent South American settlement in the present-day city of Cumaná.
According to the most popular and accepted version, in 1499, an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda visited the Venezuelan coast.
The stilt houses in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded the navigator, Amerigo Vespucci, of the city of Venice, so he named the region Veneziola, or "Little Venice".
Martín Fernández de Enciso, a member of the Vespucci and Ojeda crew, gave a different account.
Since 1958, the country has had a series of democratic governments.
Economic shocks in the 1980s and 1990s led to several political crises, including the deadly Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for embezzlement of public funds in 1993.Oil was discovered in the early 20th century and, today, Venezuela has the world's largest known oil reserves and has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil.