Venezuela, a country roughly twice the size of California, was once a part of Gran Colombia together with what now are Ecuador and Colombia. As one version goes, the country derives its name from the word Veneziola, or little Venice, since it reminded Amerigo Vespucci of his hometown. It gained full independence in 1830. During 19th century the country has gone through political turmoil and military dictatorships. In 20th century it finally experienced periods of democratic government. Since 1998 Hugo Chavez, a former career officer has run the country implementing “21st century socialism” with its ups and downs. Venezuela has a largest oil reserve in the world and oil remains its main export. Venezuela is the home of the world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls.
The meaning of the flag:
three equal horizontal bands of yellow (top), blue, and red with the coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band and an arc of eight white five-pointed stars centered in the blue band; the flag retains the three equal horizontal bands and three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; yellow is interpreted as standing for the riches of the land, blue for the courage of its people, and red for the blood shed in attaining independence; the seven stars on the original flag represented the seven provinces in Venezuela that united in the war of independence; in 2006, President Hugo CHAVEZ ordered an eighth star added to the star arc – a decision that sparked much controversy – to conform with the flag proclaimed by Simon Bolivar in 1827 and to represent the province of Guayana
source of information: CIA World Factbook
Next country on the list is experiencing a renaissance of tourism, it was once avoided and feared due to its drug problems.