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Cumana is the capital of Venezuela's Sucre State. It is located 402 km east of Caracas. It was one of the first settlements founded by Europeans on the South American mainland [*] Sucre State Government: Cumana in History (Spanish), in 1515 by Franciscan monks, but due to successful attacks by the indigenous people, it had to be refounded several times. For example, in 1521 by a group of Spaniards under the command of Gonzalo de Ocampo re-established it, and again in 1569 Diego Hernandez de Serpa had to rebuild it. After Amerindian attacks became less of a threat, the city was on several occasions destroyed by earthquakes. Thus the oldest part of the city is late 17th and 18th century; almost none of the 16th century architecture survived.

The city, located at the mouth of the Manzanares River on the Caribbean coast in the NE of Venezuela, is home to one of five campuses of the Universidad de Oriente and a busy maritime port, home of one of the largest tuna fleets in Venezuela. The city is close to the Mochima National Park which boasts some of Venezuela's finest beaches.

It is also the birthplace of Antonio Jose de Sucre, one of the paramount leaders of the South American war of independence; and Andres Eloy Blanco, one of the most important Venezuelan poets.


The city features a wide variety of colonial style architecture that is still in excellent condition. A large old Spanish fort, the Castillo de San Antonio de la Eminencia (Castle of Saint Anthony of the Eminence) can be seen from the beach, which is still open to the public. Also surviving is the Castillo de Santa Maria de la Cabeza, which was built in 1669. The Museo del Mar displays marine and maritime artifacts.

Notable people born in Cumana

Antonio Jose de Sucre (1795-1830) – South American independence leader.

Andres Eloy Blanco (1897 - 1955) poet, humorist and politician.

Brigadier General, D. Juan Francisco Echeto (b. 1799) – Venezuelan patriot who fought for independence at the battles of Tacarigua, Santa Lucia, Sabana Redonda, Bailadores, and Lago de Maracaibo.

Inaki Anasagasti (b. 1947) Spanish politician, member of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV)

Francisco Sanchez (b. 1976) butterfly and freestyle swimmer

Vanessa Peretti (b. 1986) first deaf and mute to take part in the Miss Venezuela pageant

Rafael Betancourt (b. 1975) relief pitcher for Colorado Rockies

Armando Galarraga (b. 1982) starting pitcher for Detroit Tigers

Luis Maza (b. 1980) shortstop for Los Angeles Dodgers

Cesar Jimenez (b. 1984) left-handed relief pitcher for Seattle Mariners


Krzysztof Dydniski & Charlotte Beech, Lonely Planet Venezuela, (2004)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Cumana

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