What is known as Venezuela today was colonized by Spain in 1522. In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American colonies to declare independence, being fully recognized as an independent country in 1830. Throughout the 19thand 20thcenturies, Venezuela has experienced political and military unrest that continues on today. The political system of Venezuela is formally recognized as a federal presidential republic and consists of 23 states. Today, the country is one of the most urbanized countries in Latin America. Venezuela’s economy is driven by the production of oil which was discovered in the early 20thcentury and boasts the largest oil reserves in the world.