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Margarita

Margarita (märgärē´tä), island, 444 sq mi (1,150 sq km), in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Venezuela. With many smaller islands it constitutes the Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta (1990 pop. 263,748). La Asunción is the capital; the economic center is Porlamar, where an important pearl-fishing industry exists. Other island industries produce canned fish, salt, fishing boats, ceramics, tiles, shoes, and sisal hats. The construction of a freshwater pipe from the mainland has spurred economic development, and Margarita has become a popular tourist resort. The island was sighted by Columbus in 1498 and was used (1561) as a base of operations by the Spanish adventurer Lope de Aguirre. Because the people supported Simón Bolívar, Margarita and its neighboring islands were made a state after independence was won from Spain.

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margarita

mar·ga·ri·ta / ˌmärgəˈrētə/ • n. a cocktail made with tequila and citrus fruit juice.

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margarita

margarita Mexican cocktail based on tequila with lime or lemon juice; traditionally served in glasses frosted with salt around the rim.

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margarita

margaritacater, crater, creator, curator, data, debater, delator, dumbwaiter, equator, freighter, frustrater, gaiter, grater, gyrator, hater, later, legator, mater, negator, pater, peseta, plater, rotator, skater, slater, stater, tater, traitor, ultimata, understater, upstater, waiter •painter •taster, waster •gamester • aviator • tailgater •hesitater • shirtwaister •Akita, Anita, arboreta, beater, beta, Bhagavadgita, cheater, cheetah, Demeter, Dieter, dolce vita, eater, eta, Evita, excreta, fetor, granita, greeter, heater, Juanita, litre (US liter), Lolita, maltreater, margarita, meter, metre, Peta, peter, praetor (US pretor), repeater, Rita, saltpetre (US saltpeter), secretor, Senhorita, señorita, Sita, skeeter, teeter, terra incognita, theta, treater, tweeter, ureter, veleta, zeta •Batista, Dniester, Easter, feaster, keister, leister, quaestor •speedster •deemster, teamster •scenester • browbeater • windcheater •beefeater •millilitre (US milliliter) •decilitre (US deciliter) •centilitre (US centiliter) •kilolitre (US kiloliter) •ammeter • Machmeter •millimetre (US millimeter) •decimetre (US decimeter) •altimeter •centimetre (US centimeter) •nanometre (US nanometer) •micrometer, micrometre •decametre (US dekameter) •kilometre (US kilometer) • autopista •anteater

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Margarita

Margarita

Margarita, an island about 12 miles off the eastern coast of Venezuela, which, with Tortuga, Cubagua, and Coche, comprises part of the state of Nueva Esparta. It was discovered in 1498 by Christopher Columbus. The Spanish set up pearl fisheries at Cubagua in 1515. In 1524, Emperor Charles V gave Margarita to Marceto Villalobos. In 1561, Lope de Aguirre plundered Asunción before going on to raid the mainland. Besides pearls, the island's population depended upon fishing and saltmaking for their livelihoods.

Margarita played a crucial role in the return of Simón Bolívar from exile in Haiti. In 1816, he landed on Margarita and in early 1817 defeated royalist troops before he moved his headquarters to the Orinoco region. In return for its loyalty, Bolívar made Margarita part of a new state and promised to create a free trade zone there. This finally occurred in the final quarter of the twentieth century, and as a result the island has become a major tourist attraction.

See alsoColumbus, Christopher; Cubagua; Tortuga Island.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

John V. Lombardi, People and Places in Colonial Venezuela (1976) and Venezuela: The Search for Order, the Dream of Progress (1982).

Judith Ewell, Venezuela: A Century of Change (1984).

Additional Bibliography

Goerdeler, Carl D., Bannier, Anneliet, and Harmans, Gerard. Venezuela, Isla Margarita. Houten: Van Reemst, 2000.

López Bohorquez, Alí Enrique. Margarita y Cubagua en el paraíso de Colón. Mérida, Venezuela: Gobernación del Estado Nueva Esparta, 1997.

Navarro, Nicanor. Margarita bajo ruedas. Mérida, Venezuela: Universidad de los Andes Ediciones del Rectorado, 1995.

O'Bryan, Linda, Zaglitsch, Hans, and Stoks, Frans T. Venezuela, Isla Margarita. Haarlem: Gottmer, 1998.

Subero, Efraín. Los orígenes históricos de Margarita. Pampatar, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela: Fondo Editorial Fondene, 1996.

                                     Winthrop R. Wright

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