|Motto: Igualdad, Libertad, Propiedad y Seguridad.
(English: Equality, Liberty, Property and Security)
|Anthem: Vargas State Anthem|
|• Governor||Jorge Luis García Carneiro (2008–2012)|
|• Total||1,496 km2 (578 sq mi)|
|0.16% of Venezuela|
|Population (2007 est.)|
|1.29% of Venezuela|
|ISO 3166 code||VE-X|
|Emblematic tree||Uva de Playa (Coccoloba uvífera)|
Vargas (Spanish: Estado Vargas, IPA: [esˈtaðo ˈβarɣas]) is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. Named after Venezuela's first non-military president, José María Vargas, Vargas comprises a coastal region in the north of Venezuela, bordering Aragua to the west, Miranda to the east, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Capital District to the south. It is home to both the country's largest seaport and airport. The state capital is La Guaira.
In 1999, the geographic center of Vargas state suffered major floods and landslides, known as La Tragedia de Vargas (the Vargas Tragedy), causing major losses of life and property, and resulting in forced population movements including the virtual disappearance of some small towns. Thousands died, and many more fled the area to other states.
This region of Venezuela has undergone important changes over the years, and while the geographical borders have remained, the territorial delineation has varied. The area was previously one of the departments of the Venezuela's Federal District (the other being the Libertador department, now Libertador Municipality), and the governor of this region was chosen by the national government. The area later evolved into a municipality, but was still dependent on the governor of the Federal District. In the 1990s there were increased calls for Vargas to become a separate entity, distinct from Caracas. In 1998 the government of Rafael Caldera decreed Vargas as an independent municipality, separate from the Federal District, with the statute of Federal Territory. Shortly after it became the 23rd state of Venezuela.
In mid-December 1999, after several days of ever-increasing rains pouring over the Central Mountain Range and the piedmont within the span of 24 hours along the coastline for about 45 km., the state suffered from massive floods which resulted in severe losses of life and property. In its wake as of December 16, the surviving population witnessed the massive destruction of most of the state infrastructure, including the collapse of most roads, bridges, housings, public and private buildings, and of basic services as electricity and communications; in which thousands were killed or missing. Official estimates some 50,000 dead or missing, but the real figure may be much higher. In the following weeks nearly the entire state's population was displaced. Locals refer to the Dec. 1999 disaster as "La Tragedia de Vargas" (the Vargas' Tragedy). Such climatic phenomenon (of extraordinarily high rainfall levels) appears to be periodical, having a cycle of about 70 years, and probably has occurred hundreds, perhaps thousands of times since a distant past.
In 1825, La Guaira was included in the Province of Caracas. In 1850, Maiquetía was created. In 1864, La Guaira and Maiquetía were combined to form a District. In 1872 the Federal District was created, and in 1904 it was divided into two parts, one of which was the Vargas Department. In 1986 Vargas was declared an independent municipality, but part of the Federal District. In 1998 the State was created. At the moment it consists of one single municipality (also named Vargas), sub-divided into eleven parishes.
- Vargas State covers a total surface area of 1,497 km².
- Carlos Soublette (Maiquetía)
- Caruao (La Sabana)
- Catia La Mar
- El Junco
- La Guaira
- Raul Leoni (Catia La Mar)
Law and government
- State government: The constitution of Venezuela specifies that the state government is divided into executive and legislative branches. The executive government is directed by the governor, while the legislative government is managed by the Legislative council. The Governor of Vargas is the head of the executive power of the state. According to the 160 article of the Constitution of Venezuela, the governor must be Venezuelan, greater of twenty-five years and Secularity state, is chosen by a four years term, by simple majority, and can be reelected by another period.
- Municipal government: The constitution of Venezuela specifies that municipal governments be divided into executive and legislative branches. The executive government of the municipality is governed by the mayor, while the legislative government is managed by the Municipal council.
The main economic activity of the state has turned around the Harbor and the Airport. Additionally to these primary activities, before the 1999 Tragedy, the state had an intense local and foreign visitor activity, with growing investment in residential areas, social clubs, Hotels, Restaurants and other facilities.
- Since the 1999 tragedy, many of these investments have come down, the value of the property and land has lowered, and many hotels, restaurants, and tourist facilities have disappeared.
- The slow recovery and/or rebuilding of destroyed roads and services, the enormous difficulties of transportation of people and goods, and the overall status of insecurity that ensued after the tragedy greatly affected many industries, many shops, stores, offices and social clubs disappeared or were closed, the major hotels closed down, and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost. As a consequence, the tourism industry has all but disappeared.
La Guaira Harbor: is the second port of Venezuela, in order of traffic and payload volumes, and constitutes the front door of consumer goods, destined to the metropolitan area of Caracas and the states: Vargas, Miranda and Aragua.
Simon Bolivar International Airport, Maiquetia: is located in Maiquetía, Venezuela, about 13 miles from Downtown Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Simply called 'Maiquetia' by the local population, this is the most important airport of the twelve international airports in Venezuela, it handles flights to & from many important cities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe.
Sites of interest
Old photos of Vargas state
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vargas.|
- Geopolitical division
- Law and government— State government
- Law and government— Municipal government
- Sites of interest
- Historical seats