Thus, the name "Venezuela" may have evolved from the native word.
Evidence exists of human habitation in the area now known as Venezuela from about 15,000 years ago.
The territory now known as Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522 amid resistance from indigenous peoples.
In 1811, it became one of the first Spanish-American territories to declare independence which was not securely established until 1821, when Venezuela was a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia.
Amazed by the great offshore current of freshwater which deflected his course eastward, Columbus expressed in a letter to Isabella and Ferdinand that he must have reached Heaven on Earth (terrestrial paradise): Great signs are these of the Terrestrial Paradise, for the site conforms to the opinion of the holy and wise theologians whom I have mentioned.