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Venezuela: Key facts

Oil is the lifeblood of Venezuela and ensures an important position in the global economy.

It is one of the founding Opec nations and is estimated to have the largest oil reserves in the Western Hemisphere.

High world oil prices helped Venezuela recover from the impact of national strikes in 2002 and the economy continues to grow.

The oil sector accounts for more than 75% of export revenues, about half of total government revenues.

The US is the largest destination of petroleum exports, but China is one of the fastest growing customers for its crude oil.

Mr Chavez has been accused of using oil to gain political leverage locally by supplying certain Caribbean and Latin America nations at preferential rates.

Oil flows

US exports

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