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The Orinoco River divides the country between north and south.By the time the Spanish arrived at the end of the fifteenth century, there were an estimated half a million Indians living in this region, constituting a number of cultural groups and speaking languages derived from the three main linguistic families of Arawak, Carib, and Chibcha.In 1948, Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive in Venezuela.At first assuming the land to be a large island, Columbus traveled east along the coast, where he encountered the wide mouth of the great Orinoco River.Pérez Jiménez was overthrown in 1958 and, through a coalition of civilians and military officers, Rómulo Betancourt was elected president.After a series of careful constitutional, economic, and social reforms, Betancourt stepped down in 1963.It was not until the second decade of the twentieth century, when oil was discovered in Venezuela, that economic and social stability began to grow.

These houses reminded Ojeda of the great Italian city of Venice, and he named this land "Venezuela," which in Spanish means "Little Venice." From 1500 to 1541, a series of Spanish settlements arose on the coast of Venezuela.Venezuela is situated on the northern coast of South America.