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San Fernando de Atabapo
was the capital city of Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...
Amazonas State is one of the 23 states into which Venezuela is divided.The state capital is Puerto Ayacucho. The capital until the early 1900s was San Fernando de Atabapo. Although named after the Amazon River, most of the state is drained by the Orinoco. Amazonas State covers a total surface...
state until the early 1900s. The population in 1997 was approximately 5,000.
In the early twentieth century it was ruled for a long time by Tomas Funes, a powerful caudillo
Caudillo is a Spanish word for "leader" and usually describes a political-military leader at the head of an authoritarian power. The term translates into English as leader or chief, or more pejoratively as warlord, dictator or strongman. Caudillo was the term used to refer to the charismatic...
who controlled the local rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...
industry (derived from indigenous rubber plants) by enslaving the local native populations. His power eventually became great enough to threaten the Venezuelan authorities and he was ultimately executed in the town square in the early 1930s. The town displays a photograph of a United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
military aircraft that was shot down and crashed into the Orinoco River around this time. A Venezuelan National Guard
The Venezuelan National Guard , also called the Armed Forces of Cooperation , is one of the four components of the National Armed Forces of Venezuela. The National Guard can serve as gendarmerie, perform civil defense roles, or serve as a reserve light infantry force...
unit is stationed here.