port city, northern Carabobo estado (state), north-central Venezuela, situated on the Caribbean Sea. In colonial times, the waters of its well-protected harbour were said to be so smooth that a single hair (Spanish cabello) could moor a vessel to the dock, hence the name. The settlement has played a prominent part in Venezuelan history as a target of pirate attacks, a smuggling centre, and a battlefield during the struggle for independence. The city's deepwater harbour has excellent port facilities, and commerce dominates the economy of the city; however, there are some small processing industries, and a petroleum-chemical plant is nearby. Puerto Cabello is connected to Valencia, the state capital, by highway and is a natural outlet for the agriculturally rich and commercially important Valencia Basin. Pop. (2001) 154,000.
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