Area Handbook for Venezuela

Area Handbook for Venezuela

Area Handbook for Venezuela

Area Handbook for Venezuela

Excerpt

At the end of 1970 Venezuela was enjoying the benefits of increasing national wealth and the strengthening of democratic institutions. These and other significant developments during the late 1960s underlined the need for a revison of the Area Handbook for Venezuela published in February 1964. It was researched and written under Chairman Wendell Blanchard, by a team made up of Frederic H. Chaffee, Edwin E. Erickson, Susan G. Fortenbaugh, Skaidrite Maliks, and John Hughes Stodter.

The book represents an effort to provide a compact and objective exposition and analysis of the dominant social, political, and economic characteristics of Venezuelan society. It is designed to give readers both within and outside the government an understanding of the dynamics of the component elements of Venezuelan society and an insight into the needs, goals, and achievements of the people. A large number of consultants, many of them with firsthand knowledge of the country, have provided data not available in printed sources. The authors alone are responsible for the final draft.

English usage follows Webster's Third New International Dictionary (unabridged). Spanish words and phrases, used only when adequate English equivalents are lacking, are defined at first appearance. If they are employed frequently, they are listed in the Glossary. Spanish is based on Appleton's New Cuyás Dictionary (Fifth Edition). Unless otherwise stated, the tons used in production and commodity figures are metric tons.

Government actions reported after completion of research and writing substantially altered conditions affecting foreign investment in Venezuela. In mid-December 1970 the National Congress passed unanimously a banking law that called for all foreign banks to be at least 80 percent Venezuelan owned. Foreign banks would not be permitted to accept savings accounts or deal in foreign exchange except as agents of the Central Bank of Venezuela (Banco Central de Venezuela); restrictions on loans by foreign banks to other foreign corporations were to be imposed.

In mid-December 1970 the National Congress also approved legislation increasing the tax on profits of the largely foreign owned petroleum companies from 50 to 60 percent. Adding royalties and other taxes paid by the petroleum companies, this measure increased the effective government share of petroleum profits from . . .

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