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Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish navigator, governor and conquistador. Ojeda accompanied Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to the New World in 1493. He distinguished himself there by his daring in battle with the natives, towards whom, however, he was unduly harsh and vindictive. He returned to Spain in 1496.

After three years, in May 1499, he again journeyed to the New World, this time on his own account with three vessels and accompanied by the cosmographer Juan de la Cosa and navigator Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered that, contrary to Columbus' beliefs, the land was not Asia. In little over three weeks he sighted the mainland near the mouth of the Orinoco River, and after landing at Trinidad and other such places, discovered a bay which is now known as Lake Maracaibo. The stilt houses of the Wayuu people in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded Vespucci of the city of Venice, (Italian: Venezia), so he named the region "Venezuela," meaning "little Venice" in Italian.

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Alonso de Ojeda was a Spanish navigator, governor and conquistador. Ojeda accompanied Christopher Columbus in his second voyage to the New World in 1493. He distinguished himself there by his daring in battle with the natives, towards whom, however, he was unduly harsh and vindictive. He returned to Spain in 1496.

After three years, in May 1499, he again journeyed to the New World, this time on his own account with three vessels and accompanied by the cosmographer Juan de la Cosa and navigator Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered that, contrary to Columbus' beliefs, the land was not Asia. In little over three weeks he sighted the mainland near the mouth of the Orinoco River, and after landing at Trinidad and other such places, discovered a bay which is now known as Lake Maracaibo. The stilt houses of the Wayuu people in the area of Lake Maracaibo reminded Vespucci of the city of Venice, (Italian: Venezia), so he named the region "Venezuela," meaning "little Venice" in Italian. More

 
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