POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
- Venezuelan Political System
- State Organization and Current Representatives
- Executive Branch
- Legislative Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Citizen’s Branch
- Electoral Branch
- Municipal Authority
- Main Political Parties
- The 1999 Constitution and Its Achievements
- Read in PDF the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela(Spanish)
or visit the Website of the Venezuelan National Assembly(Spanish)
According to the 1999 Constitution, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was founded in order to “establish a society that is democratic, participatory and protagonistic, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, in a State of justice, federal and decentralized, that consolidates the values of liberty, independence, peace, solidarity, common good, territorial integrity, co-existence and the rule of the law.”
Article 6 of the constitution states that “the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the political entities that compose it is and will always be democratic, participatory, elected, decentralized, alternative, responsible, pluralist and of revocable mandates.”
The Executive Branch is represented by the President of the Republic, the Vice President and the Ministers.
According to Article 230 of the constitution, the President of the Republic must be elected through a public, direct and secret vote. The President serves a term of six years and can be re-elected for successive terms.
President of the Republic: Nicolás Maduro Moros
Office Address: Final Avenida Urdaneta, Esq. de Bolero, Palacio de Miraflores, Caracas – Venezuela
Biography of the Leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was born in the town of Sabaneta in the State of Barinas on July 28, 1954. On July 5, 2975 he received a degree in Military Arts and Science with an emphasis on engineering from the Venezuelan Academy of Military Sciences, where he graduated with a rank of Sub-Lieutenant. It was there that his passion for the ideology of Simón Bolívar, Venezuela’s hero of the struggle for independence, was born. He then continued his military career, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1990. As a student, Hugo Chávez received the highest marks in the various courses he completed while in the Armed Forces; he also completed Post-Graduate studies at Simón Bolívar University with a specialization in Political Science. His performance in numerous professional disciplines and his extensive contact with different communities across Venezuela would permit him to understand the country’s social and political drama.
President Chávez’s social vocation and sense of justice have been evidenced in the most crucial moments of our nation’s recent history. Leading a movement of young military leaders of the Armed Forces and inspired by Bolivarian thought, President Chávez led a rebellion on Feb. 4, 1992 against a social and political order that was characterized by corruption and injustice. The rebellion failed and President Chávez and those that joined him were imprisoned; however, in 1994, they were freed by President Rafael Caldera due to public demand. From that point on, a new era of political struggle began.
Along with a group of comrades, President Chávez founded the Movement for a Fifth Republic (MVR) that alongside a number of political organizations and civil society groups led to his election to the presidency of Venezuela. One of his main campaign platforms was the creation of a new republic through a National Constituent Assembly.
A broad popular sentiment that major changes were needed became evident on December 6, 1998, when 56 percent of the Venezuelan people elected Chávez as the constitutional president of the then-Republic of Venezuela. In 1999, a majority of the Venzuelan people voted in a popular referendum to approve a new constitution for the new Fifth Republic. President Chávez submitted himself to a new election on July 30, 2000 under the terms of the 1999 Constitution, winning 59 percent of the vote and emerging as the president of the new Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Subsequently, President Chávez was re-elected to a second six-year term on December 3, 2006, gaining the support of the majority of Venezuela’s voters.
On October 7, 2013, new elections were held in the country. President Chávez was once again reelected for the period 2013 to 2019. In this election, the rate of voter participation was an historic 80% (with a voter registration rate of over 96%). However, due to the president’s untimely passing on March 5, 2013, Venezuela held a new presidential election on April 14 of 2013. As required under the Constitution, elections were called within 30 days, and by popular vote, socialist party Nicolas Maduro was elected with 50.66% of votes cast, for a total of 7,505,338.
The Office of the Vice President is a high-level government institution of strategic importance that works with the President of the Republic on government action and direction. The Vice President coordinates the public bureaucracy and evaluates public policies with the purpose of guaranteeing effective governance.
Vice President of the Republic: Jorge Arreaza
Office Address: Av. Urdaneta, Esquina de Carmelitas, Caracas – Venezuela
Telephone: 58-212-860-33-35 / 58-212-860-88-22 / 58-212-860-36-69
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is made up of 25 ministries. (Information on ministries current as of April 2013)
Ministry of People’s Power for:
Minister: Elias Jaua (On January 2013)
Vice-Minister for North America: Claudia Salerno
Address: Casa Amarilla, Plaza Bolívar, Caracas.
Agriculture and Land
Minister: Iván Gil (On April 2013)
Address: Av. Lecuna. Torre Este. Piso 7. Parque Central.San Agustín, Caracas.
Minister: Alejandro Flemming (On April 2013)
Address: Torre Oeste de Parque Central, pisos 6-14, Caracas.
Ph: 58-212-509-06-90/509-07-11 /509-09-74
Communication and Information
Minister: Ernesto Villegas (On October 2012)
Address: Av. Universidad, Torre Ministerial, pisos 9 y 10. Caracas.
Communes and Social Protection
Minister: Reinaldo Iturriza (April 2013)
Address: Av. Nueva Granada, Edif. Sede del INCE, Caracas.
Minister: Fidel Barbarito (April 2013)
Address: Centro Simón Bolívar, Torre Norte, piso 16, El Silencio, Caracas.
Minister: Almirante Diego Molero Bellavia
Address: Base Aérea Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda, Edificio “Diez de diciembre,” La Carlota, Caracas.
Minister: Maryann Hanson
Address: Esquina de Salas, Edificio Ministerio de Educación, Nivel mezzanina, Caracas.
Minister: Pedro Calzadilla (April 2013)
Address: Torre Capriles, Piso 6, Plaza Venezuela, Caracas.
Minister: Jesse Chacón (April 2013)
Address: Edificio Ministerio del Poder Popular para la Energía Eléctrica, Av. Tamanaco, Urb. El Rosal,
Municipio Chacao, Código Postal 1060, Estado Miranda.
Energy and Oil
Minister: Rafael Ramírez (also president of the state-owned PDVSA)
Address: Av. Libertador, Edif. PDV Marina, Caracas.
Minister: Dante Rivas (On April 2013)
Address: Torre Sur, piso 18, Centro Simón Bolívar, Caracas.
Minister: Félix Osorio Guzmán
Address: Av. Fuerzas Armadas. Esquina Socarras, Antiguo Edificio Seguros Orinoco. Piso 11, Caracas.
Health and Social Protection
Minister: Isabel Iturria (On April 2013)
Address: Parque Central, Torre Oeste, pisos 39-41, Caracas.
Minister: Aloha Nuñez (On October 2012)
Address: Av. Universidad, antiguo Edificio Sudeban, piso 8, Caracas.
Minister: Ricardo Menéndez
Address: Av. La Estancia, Torre las Mercedes, piso 9, Urb. Chuao, Caracas.
Interior and Justice
Minister: General Miguel Rodríguez Torres (On April 2013)
Address: Edificio MIJ, Av. Urdaneta, Esquina de Platanal, Caracas.
Labor and Social Security
Minister: María Cristina Iglesias
Address: Torre Sur, piso 5, Centro Simón Bolívar, Caracas.
Minister: Jorge Giordani
Address: Av. Urdaneta, Esquina Carmelitas, Ministerio de Finanzas, Caracas.
Nelson Merentes (On April 2013)
Minister: Admiral Carmen Meléndez (On October 2012)
Address: Final Avenida Urdaneta, Esquina de Bolero, Palacio de Miraflores, Caracas
Prison Services (On July 2011)
Minister: Iris Varela
Minister: Rodolfo Marco.
Address: Av. Universidad, Esq. Sociedad. Torre Banco de Venezuela Parroquia Altagracia. Caracas.
Minister: Ricardo Molina
Address: Torre Este, piso 50, Parque Central, Caracas.
Science and Technology
Minister: Manuel Fernández (On April 2013)
Address: Av. Universidad, Esquina el Chorro, Torre MCT , Caracas
Minister: Alejandra Benítez (On April 2013)
Address: Av. Intercomunal Montalban, Sede Principal del Ministerio del Poder Popular Para el Deporte,
S/N, Urbanización Montalban, La Vega, Caracas.
Minister: Andrés Izarra (On April 2013)
Address: Av. Francisco de Miranda con Av. Principal de La Floresta, Edif. Mintur (In front of the Colegio Universitario de Caracas), Chacao.
Air and Water Transportation
Minister: General Herbert Josué García Plaza (On April 2013)
Address: Av. Francisco de Miranda, MTC tower, Chacao municipality, Miranda state.
Minister: Juan García. (Ordinary Official Gazette number 39,791, November 2, 2011)
Women’s Affairs and Gender Equality
Minister: Andreína Tarazón (On April 2013)
Minister: Héctor Navarro(On April 2013)
President: Diosdado Cabello
Office Address: Monjas a San Francisco, Palacio Federal Legislativo, El Silencio, Caracas.
Telephone Numbers: 58-212-483-36-44 / 58-212-483-67-80/ 58-212-483-65-64
The constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela establishes a renewed and independent judicial branch fundamentally oriented towards guaranteeing the rule of law and creating room for citizen participation in the administration of justice.
President Gladys María Gutiérrez
Office Address: Esquina de Dos Pilitas final Av. Baralt Foro Libertador. Edif. Tribunal Supremo de Justicia
Telephone Number: 58-212-801-92-20
The Citizen’s Branch is comprised of the Moral Republican Council, which has as its parts the Comptroller General, the Public Defender (or ombudsman) and the Attorney General.
Moral Republican Council
The Organic Law on Citizens’ Power states that the Moral Republican Council is the institution charged with protecting and promoting the citizens’ power and is to be comprised of the Comptroller General, the Public Defender (or ombudsman) and the Attorney General. Under the provisions of the law, the council has the responsibility of preventing, investigating and punishing acts that are contrary to public ethics and administrative regulations.
Visit the page of the Moral Republican Council for more information.
Comptroller General’s Office
“The Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic is the institution charged with oversight of income, expenses, public goods and national goods and their relative operation. It enjoys functional, administrative and organizational autonomy and orients its acts towards inspecting the agencies and entities under its control.” (Article 274 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.)
Comptroller: Adelina González.
Office Address: Av. Andrés Bello, Sector Guaicaipuro, Edif. Sede de la Contraloría General de la República, Caracas.
Telephone Numbers: 58-212-508-31-11 / 58-212- 576-00-11 /
Office of the Public Defender
The Office of the Public Defender, also known as the ombudsman, was created as part of the 1999 Constitution. It is an autonomous institution charged with overseeing the functioning of the public bureaucracy and system of justice.
Public Defender: Gabriela Ramírez Pérez
Office Address: Av. México, Plaza Morelo, Edif. Defensoría del Pueblo, Piso 8, Frente al Ateneo, Caracas.
Telephone Numbers: 58-212-575-47-03 / 58-212-575-51-03
Attorney General’s Office
The Attorney General represents the general welfare and guarantees compliance with the rule of law and the preservation of democracy, law and justice.
Attorney General: Luisa Ortega Díaz
Area of Competence: Interior and Justice
Address: Av. México, Manduca a Pelelojo, Edif. Fiscalía General de la República, La Candelaria, Caracas
Telephone Numbers: 58-212-509-81-34 / 58-212-509-80-93 / 58-212-509-33-11
The creation of the Electoral Branch came as a response to concerns that had been raised by different segments of the population regarding elections during the time of the Fourth Republic. Faced with this situation, demands were made for a modern and responsive electoral institution founded on a technical structure with a clear application of the rules that could generate public confidence in national elections.
National Electoral Council
The National Electoral Council is the entity that organizes and supervises everything related to the election of public officials through universal, direct and secret vote.
President: Tibisay Lucena Ramírez
Address: Torre Nivel Avenida, Centro Simón Bolívar, Edif. Sede, Nivel Mezzanina, El Silencio, Caracas
Telephone Numbers: 58-212-481-19-30 / 58-212-481-18-09
According to Article 160 of the 1999 Constitution, the exercise of authority in each of the states is entrusted to a governor that is elected by the residents of that state. In the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, there exist 23 state governments:
- Amazon State
- Anzoátegui State
- Apure State
- Aragua State
- Barinas State
- Bolívar State
- Carabobo State
- Cojedes State
- Delta Amacuro State
- Falcón State
- Guárico State
- Lara State
- Mérida State
- Miranda State
- Monagas State
- Nueva Esparta State
- Portuguesa State
- Sucre State
- Táchira State
- Trujillo State
- Vargas State
- Yaracuy State
- Zulia State
To access the addresses and contact information of the various government go to the website Government Online.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has 328 municipal governments that are responsible for the administration of the country’s municipalities with the support of the respective regional and national governments. To access the index of city halls by state, go to the “Government Online” website.
The party system in Venezuela is flexible, democratic and pluri-partisan. All Venezuelans can associate themselves to any of the country’s political parties for the purposes of the free expression of their political opinions. (Articles 52 and 53 of the 1999 Constitution).
The main contemporary parties in Venezuela are as follows, listed according to whether they side with the current government or the opposition:
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) – Government
Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) – Government
Nation for All (PPT)
Venezuelan Popular Union (UPV) – Government
Social Democracy Party (PODEMOS) – Opposition
Democratic Action (AD) – Opposition
Independent Electoral Organization Committee (COPEI) – Opposition
A New Time (UNT) – Opposition
Justice First – (PJ) Opposition
Table of the Unity (MUS) Opposition
The 1999 Constitution has been recognized as one of the most advanced and progressive constitutional texts in the Western Hemisphere. Among the most significant achievements of the current constitution are the following:
Title III of the constitution grants an extensive set of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and means to defend them.
The mandates of all public officials can be revoked half-way through an elected term through a public referendum known formally as a “Recall Referendum.”
Citizens can stop the implementation of a law passed by the National Assembly through a public referendum.
The Office of the Public Defender or ombudsman was created to guarantee all constitutional rights and protect citizens against excesses of public and private institutions.
The rights of indigenous communities are explicitly recognized, and the constitution guarantees the protection of their ancestral lands, languages and beliefs. The Constitution of 1961 did not include indigenous languages, while the Constitution of 1999 not only grants them official status, but also recognizes them as national patrimony.
Social rights are granted, such as the right to work, the right to housing, the right to an education, the right to access public services and others.
Gender equality is guaranteed. The Constitution of 1999 recognizes women as individuals with equal rights and responsibilities and as vital autonomous participants in Venezuela’s growth and development. The gender-neutral language of the Constitution of 1999, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, represents a break with Venezuela’s old patriarchal model, which subordinated and excluded women from public life.
The right of all Venezuelans to freely and peacefully assemble was expanded by obligating the state to protect those who gather in peace from those who incite violence.
It protects and preserves the right of each citizen to express their culture.