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South America, Venezuela
The Orinoco Adventure, Page 2 - More About Angostura
Waterton's Orinoco Adventure

• 1 - The Orinoco Adventure - A Visit to Angostura • 2 - The Orinoco Adventure - More About Angostura
• 3 - The Orinoco Adventure - The Great Mouth of the Orinoco • 4 - The Orinoco Adventure - The Local Wildlife
• See also • Waterton's Demerara  • Guyana Gallery  • Georgetown Gallery

Venezuela, 1808 - The Orinoco Adventure - a visit to Angostura (now Ciudad Bolivar) - Waterton's adventure: background information about Angostura. Charles Waterton was still managing the family plantations in Demerara at this time.

Angostura, Angustora or Angustura, is now called Ciudad Bolivar. It was formerly the capital of Venuzuela. It also gave its name to Angostura Bitters (see below).

Simón Bolívar Simón Bolívar or Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar y Palacios (24 July 1783 – 17 December 1830) was a revolutionary leader who fought for the independence of the Spanish colonies in South America. He is credited with leading the fight for independence in Gran Colombia. Today he is revered as a hero in the countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Panama and Bolivia and throughout the rest of Latin America. Statues of him and references to him abound in Venezuela.

1. Angostura was renamed Ciudad Bolívar in 1846. The town lies at a narrowing of the River Orinoco. The the name was a contraction of the town's full descriptive name 'Santo Tomé de Guayana de Angostura del Orinoco' (Saint Thomas of Guyana of the narrows of the Orinoco).

2. Angostura bitters, used in cocktails today, gets its name from the Angostura tree which grew at the town. Angostura bitters is derived from angostura bark from Cusparia febrifuga, a tree in the family N. O. Rutaceae. The bark has been used for many years by the natives of South America and West Indies as a stimulant tonic. In large doses it causes diarrhoea and is often used as a purgative to flush out the system. The natives also use it to stupefy fish; in Peru, the substance Cinchona is used in a similar way. In medicine, some doctors preferred Angostura Bark to Cinchona for use in treating fevers. Angustura is an ingredient of bitter liqueurs and the name of the bitter, aromatic spirit used in cocktails. It is produced in Trinidad from angostura bark.

3. Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar and other revolutionaries in the First Republic of Venezuela occasionally used this name as a reference to all of Spanish America. The Republic of Gran Colombia, or Greater Colombia, was a short-lived republic in South America consisting of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama.

Flag of modern Venezuela
Flag of modern Venezuela. The stars represent the seven original provinces of Venezuela in 1811. Today the Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela is divided into 23 estados (states) and the federal district of Caracas.

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