With an upcoming election, Chavez's involvement with U.S. oil exports, and the country becoming a leader of an increasingly united South America, this volume provides necessary background information to understand how Venezuela became what it is today. The history begins with Columbus's third voyage of discovery from Spain. Spanish explorers named the land 'Little Venice' for the native homes built on stilts at the water's edge. Tracing the nation's 300 years as a Spanish colony through a brief unification followed by civil war, Tarver brings Venezuela's dramatic history to life. Highlighting events including the discovery of oil in the 1900s and the establishment of democratic government in 1958, Tarver offers a comprehensive chronicle that contextualizes the current unrest under the leadership of Hugo Chavez.
H. MICHAEL TARVER is the department head of Social Sciences and Philosophy at Arkansas Tech University, USA. JULIA C. FREDERICK is the director of Latin American History at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA.