The Country (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela is a tropical country that sits along the northern coast of South America. The Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean demarcate its shoreline. The northern third of Venezuela consists of narrow coastal lowlands, a branch of the Andes Mountains, and a teardrop-shaped Lake Maracaibo. Its midsection is the expansive east-west grass-covered plains of the Orinoco River and its western tributaries. The southern part of the country consists mostly of the ancient rocks of the Guiana Highlands. Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana are to the west, south, and east, respectively. Venezuela’s total area is roughly twice the size of California. Venezuela is a mid-sized country for South America. It is about one-tenth the size of Brazil (South American’s largest country) but ten times larger than French Guiana (the continent’s smallest country).
In 2008, Venezuela had the world’s thirty-third largest economy, but it is one of the world’s leading producers of crude oil. The principal oil deposits are under the offshore Caribbean-Atlantic shelf, the Maracaibo basin, and the Orinoco plains. This resource accounts for about 90 percent of the total value of the nation’s exports, and it gives the country a trade surplus annually. The nation also exports iron, steel, and aluminum because of a juxtaposition of water power, iron ore, and bauxite in the Guiana Highlands.
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Petroleum (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela was the seventh-largest net oil exporter in 2007. The government nationalized its oil industry in 1975-1976, creating Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA), the country’s state-run oil and natural gas company. PDVSA accounts for about 50 percent of the government’s revenue and about 80 percent of nation’s export earnings. The company has lucrative contracts with foreign companies that drill for the country’s oil and natural gas. PDVSA refines about one-third of the crude oil and all the natural gas that these ventures produce. The remaining crude oil is shipped to other countries (mainly to the United States) for refining. CITGO, a familiar company name in the United States, is a wholly owned subsidiary of PDVSA that has about fourteen thousand branded retail outlets (both directly owned and affiliates) in the United States.
Oil production in Venezuela comes from four major sedimentary basins: Maracaibo, Falcón, Apure, and Oriental. The latter three basins make up the so-called “Orinoco Belt,” which runs east-west across the middle of the country in the Orinoco plains region. The Maracaibo basin supplies slightly less than one-half of Venezuela’s oil production. The increasing depth of remaining oil in this basin requires heavy investment to maintain current capacity. For example, in order to lessen an ongoing decline in withdrawal rates, oil drillers reinject natural gas into the oil reservoirs in order to...
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Natural Gas (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela does not export natural gas to the global economy, a fact that is likely to change in the future. The nation had 4.7 trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves in 2008; in the Western Hemisphere, only Canada had more reserves. About 90 percent of Venezuela’s natural gas production occurs in association with oil reserves. As a result, the petroleum industry consumes more than 70 percent of Venezuela’s natural gas production, with the largest share of that consumption in the form of reinjection to aid crude oil extraction. PDVSA produces the largest amount of natural gas in the country, because there is limited participation of privately owned Venezuelan companies in the sector. However, since the late 1990’s, the government has permitted foreign private companies to explore for new reserves in the Orinoco River delta region and off the northeast coast. The exploratory work has proved that the natural gas reserves in both areas are commercially viable. The offshore reserves straddle the maritime boundary between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. The two countries reached an accord spliting the maritime reserves in 2007; 75 percent of the production will go to Venezuela.
As of 2009, Venezuela planned to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants that convert natural gas, which is predominantly methane (CH4), to liquid form for ease of storage and exporting. In 2008, Venezuela signed agreements to create...
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Water Power (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Hydroelectricity is electrical power that dammed stream water generates when it is released through turbines. It is a renewable form of energy and therefore relatively cheap to produce compared to energy derived from fossil fuels. Venezuela ranks ninth in per-capita production of hydroelectricity among the 149 nations that produce it. Hydroelectric energy supplies 25 percent of the country’s energy needs (compared to 5.6 percent in the United States). The nation’s hydroelectricity comes from dams built on the rivers of the Guiana Highlands, especially the Caroní River, which has four dams. The government planned to build two more dams on that river. The Guri Dam, which is just above the mouth of the Caroní, began operations in 1978 and has the third largest generating capacity among hydroelectric dams in the world. The Three Gorges Dam in China and the Itapúa Dam on the border of Brazil and Paraguay are first and second in generating capacity, respectively.
Water power is important to Venezuela’s participation in the global economy in three ways. First, the usage of water power rather than oil to produce energy allows the country to sell more of its oil to other nations. Second, Venezuela generates more hydroelectricity than it consumes, so it earns extra income by exporting surplus hydroelectricity to neighboring Colombia and Brazil. Third, and most important from an economic standpoint, Venezuela is able to use...
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Iron Ore (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela’s iron-ore deposits are in the Guiana Highlands, which rise behind the city of Ciudad Guayana, the industrial heart of the country. The fast-flowing Caroní River descends from the mountains to generate the electricity that powers the iron and steel mills of the city. The city, which is near the juncture of the Caroní and Orinoco rivers, is one of Venezuela’s fastest-growing urban centers. Demographers expect that Ciudad Guayana will reach two million people by 2030. The city’s growing economy and Venezuela’s steel production would not be possible without the juxtaposition of iron ore and the Guiana Highland’s fast-flowing rivers.
The mining of iron ore for steel production dominates the economy of the Guiana Highlands. In the vastness of the mountains lie huge deposits of iron ore and bauxite (the raw material for aluminum). The region also has deposits of gold, silver, uranium, nickel, and phosphates, but iron ore is the most abundant and valuable ore of the region. Bauxite ranks second in value. After World War II, the great iron-ore deposits on the northern rim of the plateau attracted the former giants of the U.S. steel industry—the U.S. Steel and Bethlehem Steel corporations—to the region. Both companies had large open-pit mines. The main U.S. Steel mine covered the entire top of the mountain Cerro Bolívar. Bethlehem Steel’s main mine was nearby at the town of El Piar. These companies mined the ore...
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Bauxite (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela has one of the world’s largest supplies of bauxite, the ore for making aluminum. Like iron ore, bauxite is in the country’s enormous Guiana Highlands region. The bauxite is a residual rock that formed as a result of laterization of Tertiary sediments that lay horizontally and unconformably on the Precambrian basement rocks of the highlands. Except for the dissected topography, the bauxite is relatively accessible in two horizontal layers about 4 to 10 meters below the summit surfaces.
The bauxite ore consists of one or more aluminum hydroxide minerals plus various mixtures of alumina-silicates (such as clay), iron oxide, silica, titanium, and other impurities in trace amounts. Processing alumina starts with separating it from ore by means of a wet chemical caustic leach process. Next, the alumina is smelted by subjecting it to electrolytic reduction in a molten bath of natural or synthetic cryolite to produce aluminum metal. In 2008, six companies operated fourteen primary aluminum smelters. The smelting required a huge amount of electricity, which hydroelectric dams produced relatively cheaply. The operation of those smelters placed Venezuela fifteenth in production of aluminum, behind Mozambique but ahead of Tajikistan. In the same year, the country accounted for 2.9 percent of the world’s bauxite and 1.4 percent of aluminum output. Venezuela consistently ranks in the top twenty-five exporters of aluminum. The main...
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Other Resources (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Venezuela also is a producer of other mineral commodities, although none holds more than minor ranking in global exports. These minerals are sulfur (6 percent), feldspar (2 percent), and silica sand (1 percent). Miscellaneous commodities ranking less than 1 percent include coal, lead, zinc, copper, nickel, gold, titanium, diamonds, and uranium. Most of these commodities come from mining activities in the Andes Mountains or Guiana Highlands.
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Further Reading (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Arnold, Guy. The Resources of the Third World. Chicago: Taylor and Francis, 1997.
Crooker, Richard A. Venezuela. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2006.
Kogel, Jessica Elzea, et al., eds. Industrial Minerals and Rocks: Commodities, Markets, and Uses. 7th ed. Littleton, Colo.: U.S. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, 2006.
Kozloff, Nikolas. Hugo Chávez: Oil, Politics, and the Challenge to the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
Salazar-Carrillo, Jorge, and Bernadette West. Oil and Development in Venezuela During the Twentieth Century. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004.
Central Intelligence Agency. The World Fact Book. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Energy Information Administration: Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government. Venezuela Natural Gas. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Venezuela/NaturalGas.html
International Trade Centre. Countries. http://www.intracen.org/menus/countries.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. 2006 Minerals Yearbook, Venezuela. http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2006/myb3-2006-ve.pdf
U.S. Geological Survey. Aluminum. http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/aluminum/mcs-2009-alumi.pdf
U.S. Geological Survey. Bauxite and...
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Venezuela (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
At the end of the 1950s there were two psychoanalysts in Caracas: Hernán Quijada, trained in Paris, and Guillermo Teruel, analyzed in London. The first reactions of associated groups (psychiatrists, psychologists) were varied, ranging from an attitude of refusal for some to curiosity and affiliation for others. Quijada's important position in the Ministry for Health made it easier to receive state support.
Quijada, Teruel, Manuel Kizer, Antonio García, Fernando Acuña, Cesar Augusto Ottalagano, Julio Aray, Antonio Briceño, Nicolás Cupello, Hugo Domínguez, Juan Antonio Olivares, Hans Voss, and W. Hobaica formed a work group that was officially recognized by the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) at the Copenhagen congress in 1965. Between 1966 and 1969 an IPA committee comprising León Grinberg and Maria Langer from Buenos Aires, Alfredo Nannum from Mexico, Luiz Guimarães Dalheim and Adelheid Lucy Koch from Brazil, worked at improving the group's training by revising theory and conducting group controls.
In 1969 the international committee appointed Teruel as the first training analyst. That same year, at the international Congress in Rome, the work group was transformed into a definitive association (Asociación Venezolana de Psicoanálisis; ASOVEP), prior to being affiliated to the International Psychoanalytical Association in 1971, at the Vienna Congress. The first group of candidates commenced training in 1969.
In May 1975 power struggles and exclusion anxiety gave rise to conflicts within the association between the oldest analysts and new arrivals. Two groups were formed with their respective orientations, calling for the intervention of the International Psychoanalytical Association at the London Congress in the same year. In 1976 a committee directed by Maxwell Gitelson and comprising Serge Lebovici, Daniel Widlöcher, Edward Joseph, and David Zimmermann went to Caracas to visit the association. Thanks to their intervention, the dissensions were soothed and a joint agreement was signed in 1977.
In 1983 Manuel Kizer, one of the founding members, left the ASOVEP to create a Lacanian group. In May 1989, after more quarrels, fifteen other members decided to constitute a separate group and received recognition as a work group from the International Psychoanalytical Association. This group went on to be recognized at the San Francisco Congress of 1995 as the Caracas Psychoanalytic Association.
The most noteworthy contributions from the ASOVEP includes J. Aray's work on the fetal psychism and abortion; Hugo Domínguez's study of the dynamics of communication; Alfonso Gisbert's work on the identity of the psychoanalyst; Rafael E. López-Corvo's study of femininity, addictions, and auto-envidia ("self-envy"); and Guillermo Teruel's work on the interaction between couples and the death instinct. From the Caracas Psychoanalytic Association, Addys Attías stands out for work on adolescent pathology, and A. Torres for work on feminine identification and neurosis.
There are therefore two associations in Caracas, each equipped with a training institute. In terms of publications, the ASOVEP review Psicoanálisis appears at irregular intervals, as well as a few monographs. The Caracas Association publishes a twice-yearly review, Trópicos.
RAFAEL E. LEZ-CORVO
Olivares, Juan Antonio. (1984). Breve reseña histórica de la Asociación venezolana de psicoanálisis. Psicoanálisis, 1, 117-124.