Venezuela: Page 5 of 5
by the opposition candidate. Henrique Capriles and the opposition demanded a full recount of all the paper ballots. On April 18 the National Electoral Council declared that following Capriles' formal request it was going to conduct a full auditing of all the precincts' ballot boxes for the next month. Capriles and the opposition declared they will accept the results of the full audition process, in which their representatives will also take part. On 19 April Nicolás Maduro was sworn in before the National Assembly to finish the current six-year presidential term. Elections for a new presidential term will be held, according to the constitution, in 2019.
The culture of Venezuela is a melting pot which includes mainly three different families: the indigenous, African and Spanish. The first two cultures were in turn differentiated according to the tribes. Acculturation and assimilation, typical of a cultural syncretism, conditioned to arrive at the current Venezuelan culture, similar in many respects to the rest of Latin America, although the natural environment means that there are important differences.
The indigenous influence is limited to a few words of vocabulary and gastronomy, and many place names. The African influence in the same way, in addition to musical instruments like the drum. The Spanish influence was predominant (due to the colonization process and the socioeconomic structure it created) and in particular came from the regions of Andalusia and Extremadura, places of origin most settlers in the Caribbean during the colonial era. As an example of this can include buildings, part of the music, the Catholic religion and language.
Spanish influences are evident in bullfights and certain features of gastronomy. Venezuela was also enriched by other streams of Indian and European origin in the 19th century, especially from France. In the latest stage in the major cities and regions oil of U.S. origin and manifestations of the new immigration of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, increasing the already complex cultural mosaic. For example, from United States comes the influence of taste for baseball, US-style fast food, and current architectural constructions.
Venezuelan art was initially dominated by religious motifs, but began emphasizing historical and heroic representations in the late 19th century, a move led by Martín Tovar y Tovar. Modernism took over in the 20th century. Notable Venezuelan artists include Arturo Michelena, Cristóbal Rojas, Armando Reverón, Manuel Cabré; the kinetic artists Jesús Soto and Carlos Cruz-Díez; and contemporary artist as Marisol and Yucef Merhi.
Venezuelan literature originated soon after the Spanish conquest of the mostly pre-literate indigenous societies; it was dominated by Spanish influences. Following the rise of political literature during the Venezuelan War of Independence, Venezuelan Romanticism, notably expounded by Juan Vicente González, emerged as the first important genre in the region. Although mainly focused on narrative writing, Venezuelan literature was advanced by poets such as Andrés Eloy Blanco and Fermín Toro.
Major writers and novelists include Rómulo Gallegos, Teresa de la Parra, Arturo Uslar Pietri, Adriano González León, Miguel Otero Silva, and Mariano Picón Salas. The great poet and humanist Andrés Bello was also an educator and intellectual (He was also a childhood tutor and mentor of Simon Bolivar). Others, such as Laureano Vallenilla Lanz and José Gil Fortoul, contributed to Venezuelan Positivism.
Indigenous musical styles of Venezuela are exemplified by the groups Un Solo Pueblo and Serenata Guayanesa. The national musical instrument is the cuatro. Typical musical styles and pieces mainly emerged in and around the llanos region, including Alma Llanera (by Pedro Elías Gutiérrez and Rafael Bolívar Coronado), Florentino y el Diablo (by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba), Concierto en la Llanura by Juan Vicente Torrealba, and Caballo Viejo (by Simón Díaz).
The Zulian gaita is also a popular style, generally performed during Christmas. The national dance is the joropo. Venezuela has always been a melting pot of cultures and this can be seen in the richness and variety of its musical styles and dances: calipso, bambuco, fulía, cantos de pilado de maíz, cantos de lavanderas, sebucán, and maremare. Teresa Carreño was a world-famous 19th century piano virtuoso. In the last years, Classical Music has had great performances. The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra, under the baton of its principal conductor Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio Abreu, has hosted a number of excellent presentations in many European concert halls, notably at the 2007 London Proms, and has received several honors. The orchestra is the pinnacle of El Sistema, a publicly financed voluntary sector music education program now being emulated in other countries.