All the versions of this article: [English] [Español]

Population: 27.483.200 | Surface: 916.445 km2. | Capital: Caracas

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a federal republic located in the north of South America, constituted as a democratic and social state of law and justice, free, autonomous and sovereign, enshrined in its Act of Independence signed on July 5, 1811 Its federal capital and headquarters of the Powers of the Nation is the city of Caracas.

It limits, to the north with the Caribbean Sea - which in turn includes the maritime borders with the Dominican Republic, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago -, to the east with Guyana and part from the Atlantic Ocean, southeast with Brazil and southwest with Colombia.

The country covers a total area of ​​916,445 km², distributed between its continental territory, Margarita Island and the Federal Dependencies, with its highest point represented on Bird Island, so it exercises sovereignty over 860,000 km² of the Caribbean Sea under the Exclusive Economic Zone concept. Venezuela also has a historical litigation with Guyana in relation to 159,500 km² comprised in Esequiba Guyana in the east of the country, classified as a Zone in Claim by the Venezuelan State.

The current Constitution of Venezuela, approved in a constituent national referendum on December 15, 1999 and promulgated by the National Constituent Assembly five days later, establishes that Venezuela is a social state of law and justice, Democratic and Federal.

The authorities of the National or Federal Government, are located in the city of Caracas, capital of the nation, in the Capital District since according to the National Constitution, it is the seat of the organs of the National Public Power. Its figure, which is made up of all the institutions or bodies of the Government that are framed within the Basic Charter of 1999 with national powers, is divided into five branches, independent and autonomous, these being its components:

The Venezuelan president is elected by a plurality vote in a direct, secret and universal suffrage and works both as Head of State, as Head of Government and also as Commander in Chief of National Armed Forces and Direct Head of the Reserve. The term of his term is 6 years, and he may be re-elected one more consecutive period. The president appoints the vice president and decides the size and composition of the cabinet. He can also ask the legislature to reconsider parts of laws that he finds inappropriate, but a simple parliamentary majority can override these objections. The Constitution also establishes that the National Assembly may grant by majority of its members special legislative powers for the president to issue decrees with force of law, the decree-laws must be considered by the Legislative Power.

The parliament is unicameral and receives the name of National Assembly. Its 167 members, of which three are representatives of indigenous peoples, serve for periods of five years and can be re-elected for a maximum of two additional periods. They are also elected by universal, direct, secret suffrage, three Deputies with their respective alternates for each federal Entity and the indigenous peoples also choose three according to the electoral law, in a combination of party lists and nominal candidates, with 40% and 60% respectively under the premise of the Custom Proportional Representation system.

The National Assembly is in charge of the formation and sanction of federal laws; It is also responsible for sanctioning the basic legal codes of the country (civil, criminal, commercial, labor, aeronautical and mining).

This entity constitutes the highest judiciary body in the country, made up of 32 Magistrates, distributed in 7 Chambers (Constitutional, Administrative Political, Electoral, Civil Cassation, Criminal Cassation, Social Cassation and the Plenary Chamber), with 5 Magistrates in each , with the exception of the Constitutional Chamber that has 7 Magistrates. Each of the Judges of the Court are appointed by the National Assembly for a term of 12 years.

Citizen Power - conformed by the Public Ministry, the Comptroller General of the Republic, and the Ombudsman’s Office.

The Citizen Power (or Moral) is composed of these three institutions, which exercise the Republican Moral Council.

The Electoral Power is made up of five principal rectors and with the same number of substitutes elected by the National Assembly for a period of seven years, and may be re-eligible up to two times. The law determines the election process of the rectors.
The 1999 Constitution incorporates the figure of the recall referendum for all positions of popular election, which can be submitted to a new election in the middle of the term, as a novel and democratic way to allow a new political decision of the citizenship on officials elected.

According to the draft Civil Registry Organic Law, the National Electoral Council, by organ of the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission, will develop a system of coordination with the other organs of the Public Power that carry out actions related to the civil registry, for this purpose, the National Civil Registry System is created.

It is understood by the National Civil Registry System, the set integrated by the organs of the Public Power that, in a coordinated way, design and execute the activities that guarantee the adequate registration, control and archiving of the facts and acts that affect the civil status, in the scope of the competences that are proper to each one.

The organs of the National Civil Registry System are:
1. The National Electoral Council;
2. The Municipal Mayors;
3. The Ministry with competence in Foreign Affairs;
4. The Ministry with competence in Health matters;
5. The Ministry with competence in Internal Relations and Justice.

The National Electoral Council is the governing body of the National Civil Registry System and will exercise, by organ of the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission, its direction and will dictate the administrative norms related to its operation and organization, in accordance with the provisions of the Law.

They are operating organs of the National Civil Registry System:
1. The Mayor’s Offices, by organ of the municipal and parish registry units and the civil registry units located in public and private health facilities and in cemeteries;
2. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through diplomatic representations of the Republic abroad.

The auxiliary organs of the National Civil Registry System are:
1. The Ministry with competence in Health matters, through the personnel authorized to issue birth and death certificates;
2. The Ministry with competence in Internal Relations and Justice, through the body responsible for the execution of the National Identification System;
3. The bodies of national or municipal police, firefighters, paramedics, ship and aircraft chiefs, civil protection, and others with similar functions.

The Civil and Electoral Registry Commission is the planning body of the policies and guidelines of the National Civil Registry System, corresponding to the centralization of the information of the civil registry of natural persons.

For this purpose, it must assume the training, organization and supervision of the National Civil Registry System.

The Civil and Electoral Registry Commission, in matters of civil registration, will exercise, in addition to the powers provided for in the Organic Law of Electoral Power, which are mentioned below:
1. Plan the policies and formulate the guidelines on the operation of the National Civil Registry System;
2. Propose for the approval of the National Electoral Council, the normative projects that are necessary for the normal functioning of the National Office of Civil Registry and the National Office of Supervision of Civil Registry and Identification;
3. Decide appeals against decisions, omissions and abstentions of the National Office of Civil Registry;
4. The others assigned to it on the subject.

The National Office of Civil Registry is the executing agency of the plans, policies and guidelines issued by the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission, in matters of civil registration, for which purpose it will fulfill the powers conferred in this Law, throughout the national territory .

Likewise, it will establish the internal control mechanisms that are necessary to verify the effective fulfillment of the planned activities.

The National Civil Registry Office will have the following powers:
1. Centralize the information and documentation of the facts and acts referred to in article 2 of this Law;
2. Keep the civil registry updated, through the mechanisms and procedures established for this purpose;
3. Compile the data related to marital status, which are contained in other registers and integrate them into the file of single civil files;
4. To request the administrative or judicial authorities, when necessary, the remission of decisions that affect, in any way, the marital status, without prejudice to the obligations established by them in this matter in this Law;
5. Create, organize and preserve the archive of the National Office of Civil Registry;
6. Submit to the Civil and Electoral Registry Commission a Quarterly Report of the results of the management carried out;
7. Perform periodic performance evaluations of each of the registration units, in order to implement mechanisms that tend to increase the quality of the service offered;
8. Organize, program and execute projects for the training of human resources of the organs that make up the National Civil Registry System;
9. Keep a database of civil registrars and diplomatic officials with competence in civil registration, as well as the signatures and stamps used.