Venezuela’s political system is a Constitutional Democracy. The current Venezuelan constitution was adopted in 1999. Important changes were made regarding the structure of the government as well as in human rights and community participation.
Since the approval by referendum of this
constitution, the government consists of five branches, the Executive,
Legislative, Judicial, Citizen and Electoral.
The Executive Branch: The President and his
cabinet. The President is elected by universal, direct and secret ballot for a
six-year term. The President may be
re-elected for one additional consecutive term only.
One chamber National Assembly composed by 165 deputies elected for a five- year
term. Deputies may be re-elected for up to one additional consecutive term.
The new constitution renamed the Supreme Court as the Supreme Tribunal of
Justice. Justices are nominated by the civil society. Final appointment requires
the approval of at least two thirds of the legislative branch.
The Citizens Branch: Created to safeguard
public ethics, to ensure respect for the principle of legality in the
Administration, and to assume the defense of human rights.
Ombudsman or Defender of the People, the Attorney General and the Comptroller
General form this power
Electoral Branch: This authority is
independent from other Government Branches and is appointed by nominations from
the civil society.
Division: 22 states, 1 federal
district and the federal dependencies. State
Governors are elected for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one
additional consecutive term only.
Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolívar, Carabobo, Cojedes,
Delta Amacuro, Falcón, Guárico, Lara, Mérida, Miranda, Monagas, Nueva Esparta,
Portuguesa, Sucre, Táchira, Trujillo, Yaracuy, Zulia. (The federal dependencies consist of 11 federally
controlled island group with a total of 72 individual islands).
Venezuelans are Roman Catholic. The
Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.
All faiths have churches and people may worship freely.