The Port of Puerto Cabello lies on the shores of north central Venezuela on its Caribbean shores about 120 kilometers west of the Port of La Guaira and Venezuela's capital city, Caracas. Vitally important to the country's oil industry, the Port of Puerto Cabello is the biggest port in Venezuela.
The port got its name from the observation that the harbor was so well-protected and its waters so smooth that a single strand of hair could tie a vessel to the dock. ("Cabello" means hair.) In 2001, over 150 thousand people lived in the Port of Puerto Cabello.
The Port of Puerto Cabello has been important throughout Venezuela's history. It was a smuggling center, the victim if many pirate attacks, and an important battlefield in Venezuela's struggle for independence. It was also the birthplace of the world-famous Simon Bolivar who contributed enormously to the independence of several South American countries (Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Panama, and Bolivia).
During the 17th Century, buccaneers made a target of the Port of Puerto Cabello, and Dutch smugglers used the port as a market for their goods. For a time, the Port of Puerto Cabello was under the control of the Dutch.
The deep-water harbor at the Port of Puerto Cabello made it a natural center for commerce and trade and an export point for products from the agriculturally rich Valencia Basin.
In 1730, Spain took control of the Port of Puerto Cabello after the Royal Guipuzcoana Company, which had a monopoly on Venezuelan trade, had built wharves, warehouses, and forts at the Port of Puerto Cabello to protect the harbor.
By the 1770s, the Port of Puerto Cabello was the most fortified town on the coast of Venezuela. It was so fortified, in fact, that it was the last Spanish stronghold to fall during the country's war for independence in 1823.