The economy of Venezuela is based on oil, although efforts have been made to develop heavy industry, e.g. steel and aluminium, and revive the agricultural sector. From the 1950s to the beginning of the 1980s the Venezuelan economy was the strongest in South America. Venezuela manufactures and exports steel, aluminium, transport equipment, textiles, apparel, beverages, and foodstuffs. It produces cement, tires, paper, fertilizer, and assembles cars both for domestic and export markets.
Arepas are fried or baked corn pancakes, either plain or with a filling and most Venezuelans eat them as part of their daily diet in place of bread. They are one of the national dishes of Venezuela and there are many food stands or small restaurants called Areperas, which specialise in the making of these small delights.