Add to the list a few things that are completely unique, such as the 'Lost World' of the Gran Sabana, Angel Falls, and the Orinoco Delta- another world again, and you have something truly exceptional.
With large reserves of oil, Venezuela doesn't need to hype its attractions, so you won't find ads on the TV or in the newspaper urging you to go. And while Venezuela isn't expensive, it isn't cheap either, so you won't find it much on the backpacker routes. Venezuela has some great places to stay, but nothing that ranks in the top 10 for style-hungry journalists, so you won't read much about it in the glossy magazines.
The extraordinary Hugo Chávez had a massive impact on Venezuela's political stage. Venezuelans are immensely proud of their democracy (which is the longest running in Latin America by many measures), noisy though the debate has been under his presidency. Ordinary life went on, of course, and as the body politic settles into a post-Chávez era, it goes on still.