Cumaná is the capital of Venezuela's Sucre State. It is located 402 km east of Caracas. It was the first settlement founded by Europeans in the mainland America in 1501 by Franciscan friars, but due to successful attacks by the indigenous people, it had to be refounded several times. After Amerindian attacks became less of a threat, the city was on several occasions destroyed by earthquakes. Thus the oldest part of the city is late 17th and 18th century; almost none of the 16th century architecture survived. The city, located at the mouth of the Manzanares River on the Caribbean coast in the NE of Venezuela, is home to one of five campuses of the Universidad de Oriente and a busy maritime port, home of one of the largest tuna fleets in Venezuela. The city is close to the Mochima National Park which boasts some of Venezuela's finest beaches. It is also the birthplace of Antonio José de Sucre, one of the paramount leaders of the South American war of independence; and Andrés Eloy Blanco, one of the most important Venezuelan poets.
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