Venezuela travel guide



Venezuela Travel Guide

Venezuela History

The historians take as a point of reference to talk about the Venezuela’s history the American discovery and concretely the year of 1498 when Christopher Columbus landed at the mouth of the Orinoco River in one of his voyages to the new world.

The Pre-Hispanic period (Before 1948)
It is believed that first settlements in Venezuela were established 16,000 years ago due the migration of many tribal groups coming from different places like from the Amazonas, from the Andes and from the Caribbean territories. Three main groups dominated the Venezuelan territory the Caribs, the Arawak and the Chibchas, being the last ones the most advanced group.

The Caribs who came from the Amazon regions settled in the oriental and part of the central region of the country including a large territory of Zulia and the Llanos. The Arawaks settled the Amazonas, Apure, Barinas, Portuguesa, Cojedes, Yaracuy, Lara, Falcón and the north of Zulia estates. The Chibchas, a group that came from the Colombian Andes settled the Andean region of Venezuela and reached an important development thanks to the agriculture.

The Hispanic period (1948)

This period begins with the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the mouth of the Orinoco River in his third voyage in 1948. A year later, Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda bordered the actual territory from the Paria gulf to the Maracaibo lagoon where they seen some buildings built over palafitos. Ojeda give the name on “Little Venice” to the region because these building remembered him to the European city of Venice.

When the European arrived to the coasts of Venezuela, it was settled by many indigenous groups that some time later were extinguished by the European colonizers. The first Spanish land possession was Cubagua Island founded in 1513, but the first city founded in Venezuela was Nueva Toledo now Cumaná in 1522.

The Spanish colonization in this period had to face many indigenous rebellions, one of the most notable leaders of these rebellions were Guaicaipuro, a Caribe cacique who fight against the Spanish but was captured by Diego de Lozada in who founded the Caracas city called Santiago de León de Caracas on July 25 of 1567.

Colonization in Venezuela was not much strong; in fact the Spain crown conceded the exploration and exploitation rights of Venezuela to a group of German bankers because they had lent money to Spain to pay some debts, but the contract that they signed was rescinded in 1555.

During the Spanish domination, the Eastern Venezuela was governed under the Audiencia of Santo Domingo, and the western and southern regions became a captaincy-general under the viceroyalty of Peru.

Independence (1810-1823)

Many years later of the Spanish colonization, the Venezuelan people influenced by the United States independence and the French Revolution took advantage of the Napoleonic invasion to Spain, Venezuelans refuse the authority of Vicente Emparan, the province General Captain, and a Cabildo was organizaed in Caracas were the independence of Venezuela was declared on July 5 of 1811, and the war for the independence began. Francisco de Miranda the “Precursor” was elected as the dictator of Venezuela but years later he was captured by the realists and he capitulated in 1812.

The war for the independence took several years and was Simon Bolivar the person who consolidated the independence in 1823 in the naval combat in the Maracaibo lagoon. Simon Bolivar was declared president of the emerging Venezuelan republic in 1821.

The Contemporary Period

Venezuela becomes sovereign state in 1930 when seceded from the Gran Colombia when the president was Jose Antonio Paez. The new republic’s post-independence were marked by a succession of military dictators, political coups and economic instability.

Venezuela reached the prosperity in the late 1920s thanks to the exploitation of the country’s substantial oilfields discovered in 1840, becoming in one of the most important oil producers of the world, and allowing a rapid economic development.

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