During the 1830s, the Italian scientist Agustin Codazzi, and others, had made attempts to attract new human resources to Venezuela, which had been left virtually under-populated and drained, from the War for Independence. One must also consider the remarkable efforts of 300 settlers from Southern Germany.
This contrasts greatly with the situation in Venezuela in the 1950s when, because of its enormous oil resources, it appeared to be a paradise in Latin America.
It was due to the sudden abundance of oil that the Venezuelan Government profited and subsequently opened its doors during the 1930s to European immigration. Therefore, for the first time, a solid new middle class emerged and transformed the existing social structure of those years into a modern society imbued with the vision and values of the 20th century. This in fact constitutes the most important revolution in the socio-cultural and political development of Venezuela in all its history.
Sharing the hypothesis of Venezuelan intellectual, Arturo Uslar Pietri, a hypothesis to be proven throughout this research, we can affirm that oil definitively must be considered to be the catalyst of profound social, cultural and political change, as well as obvious economic transformation. Former German President Roman Herzog stated that Venezuela could not be considered as a developing nation of the Third World, and that it could become an important economic power in the international community.1 In such a case the oil industry would play a crucial role, as it has done since 1922.