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La Orchila

La Orchila is a military base off the coast of Venezuela, north of Caracas. It has numerous beaches, including one where the sand is markedly pink (Playa Rosada).

There is a presidential retreat on this island, and the residential complex reserved for the military houses consists mainly of elevated houses made of wooden logs. There is also a court for bolas criollas. All the facilities are connected by pathways, mostly unpaved but smooth and clean.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was imprisoned on the island during the [[Hugo Chavez2002: Coup and strike/lockout|April 2002 coup]].

On March 14, 2009, Russian Air Force Major General Anatolii Zhikharev, head of the Russian Air Forces Long-Range Aviation, reported that Venezuela has offered Russia the use of the Antonio Diaz Naval Air Station on the island to base its strategic bombers.Carl Rosenberg and Phil Gunson, "Report: Russians to land long-range bomber aircraft in Venezuela," Miami Herald, March 15, 2009. Chavez however denied this, which Kremlin official Alexei Pavlov prompted to say that the military just spoke about 'technical possibilities'.

The Dutch considered Orchilla to belong to their nearby island territory of Curacao. The author M.D. Teenstra still writes in 1836 (in his book "The Dutch West Indies): "The government of Curacao also includes the uninhabited islets and rocks Little Curacao, Aves, Roques and Orchilla." He goes on to say that "''Orchilla, although we consider it to belong to Curacao, is of too little importance to justify any dispute with Spain which claims this island as well. The Republic of Venezuela also considers it theirs and their coastal guard often chases away the fishermen from Curacao who go there to collect shell fish, fire wood, grass and hay, turtles, and birds' eggs or burn lime.''"

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

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