Alonso de Ojeda
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|Alonso de Ojeda|
|Known for||Naming Venezuela, first European to visit Lake Maracaibo, founder of Santa Cruz (La Guairita)|
Ojeda, Alonso De
Born 1468 (?), in Cuenca; died circa 1516, in Santo Domingo. Spanish navigator and conquistador.
Between 1493 and 1495, Ojeda took part in C. Columbus’ second expedition. In 1499–1500, accompanied by A. Vespucci, he led an expedition which explored the coast of Guiana from 54° to 60° W long., the coast of Venezuela from 66° to 72° W long., and a number of islands, including Curaçao. In 1502, Ojeda again explored the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. Between 1508 and 1510 he retraced the northern coast of Colombia, where he established a fortress, thus laying the foundation for the Spanish colonization of South America.