Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
It today serves as an important port of eastern Venezuela on the Orinoco River. One of the Orinoco Basin's chief commercial centers, its main products include gold, iron ore, cattle, hides and rare woods.
The city was originally named San Tomás de la Nueva Guayana , but people called it Angosturas (Spanish for "narrows.") In the 19th century. It served as the headquarters of the national revolutionary government fighting its War of Independence against imperial Spain. In 1819, the Congress of Angosturas declared South American military leader and revolutionary Simón Bolívar the President of Venezuela, and on December 17, 1819, declared the creation of the Republic of Gran Colombia, with Bolívar still as president. In 1846, Angosturas was renamed Ciudad Bolívar.
The city lies at a spot where the Orinoco narrows to about 1 mile (1.6 km) in width, and today is the site of the only bridge across the river. [Though two more are being constructed (2004/2005)].
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