Even Under The Thraldom Of The Colonial
System, The Value Of The Exported Products Of Agriculture And Of The
Gold-Washings Amount To Eleven Or Twelve Millions Of Piastres In The
Countries At Present United Under The Denomination Of The Republic Of
The exports of the Capitania-General of Caracas alone,
exclusive of the precious metals which are the objects of regular
working, was (with the contraband) from five to six millions of
piastres at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
Barcelona, La Guayra, Porto Cabello and Maracaybo are the most
important parts of the coast; those that lie most eastward have the
advantage of an easier communication with the Virgin Islands,
Guadaloupe, Martinique and St. Vincent. Angostura, the real name of
which is Santo Tome de Nueva Guiana, may be considered as the port of
the rich province of Varinas. The majestic river on whose banks this
town is built, affords by its communications with the Apure, the Meta
and the Rio Negro the greatest advantages for trade with Europe.
The shores of Venezuela, from the beauty of their ports, the
tranquillity of the sea by which they are washed and the fine timber
that covers them, possess great advantages over the shores of the
United States. In no part of the world do we find firmer anchorage or
better positions for the establishment of ports. The sea of this coast
is constantly calm, like that which extends from Lima to Guayaquil.
The storms and hurricanes of the West Indies are never felt on the
Costa Firme; and when, after the sun has passed the meridian, thick
clouds charged with electricity accumulate on the mountains of the
coasts, a pilot accustomed to these latitudes knows that this
threatening aspect of the sky denotes only a squall.
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