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Tobacco 

The tobacco is native from America. The first news that arrived in Europe on the existence of this plant and of the use that the natives made of the leaf, they were taken by Christopher Columbus. The descriptions of Venezuela of the XVI century pointed out the use of the tobacco for the natives, attributing it to a religious practice for "it turns with the Demon", although they were also attributed medicinal properties. They knew it and it was of common employment for the Indians of the valley of Caracas, and the first Spaniards that settled down there they became fond to smoke it and to aspire it powdered or I shaved: the governor Juan of Pimentel wrote the King in 1579: "...tómanlo the Spaniards and natural in smoke for the mouth and milled by the noses, tiénese for very medicinal, although here it is not known how to apply well, tiénenlo in a lot the natural ones and they cure especially with this tobacco cold and wounded humors..." Already in the last decade of the XVI century, the tobacco had been placed in the first place of the exports of Venezuela. For Maracaibo they left more than 1.000 you enrapture of tobacco coming from Guanare, at the same time that for The Guaira the exports began in vertiginous increase until reaching very high figures. In 1606 they left for this port 15.500 pounds to the real price of 25 it enraptures her, and to the following year the export arrived to 35.800 pounds to the one gone up real price of 50 it enraptures her that truly converted it in a beautiful product. When the frequency of the transatlantic trips brought near the old world to the recently discovered continent, the consumption spread mainly among the most learned classes. It was in England where earlier you generalized, in such a way that already in 1615 it had charged such a magnitude that was considered in 200.000 annual sterling pounds the expense in this product, coming from the Spanish domains in America; the tobacco was one of the articles more requested by the secret traffic; the French, Dutch and Englishmen that marauded for the Venezuelan costs paid very high prices, reason why this product became the first attention of the residents and they abandoned the other cultivations. This alarmed to the real authorities and the Town council from Caracas that  suggested the prohibition of this cultivation for a 10 year-old period so that you cuts the smuggling and the residents is devoted to other more necessary cultivations for the sustenance and to the laboreo of the mines; the governor of the county prepared this way it, and in consequence the plantations were razed, with the single exception of those of Barinas to belong to another jurisdiction and to also be, to more than 80 leagues of the coast. The result was that the county of Caracas became poor and the Town council took this time the initiative for the reestablishment of the cultivation of the tobacco, because in 6 years  had taken place the ruin of the inhabitants of the valley of Caracas and the third two parts of the Indians that formerly populated it they abandoned its territory. 
Peak of the export 
Therefore, in 1612 the renewal of these siembras was ordered that again acquired a great increment in such a way that, 3 years later (1615), they were sent by The Guaira to Spain 91.000 pounds, more the exports for Maracaibo and Choir, to a price that oscillated in the rest of the XVII century, among real 32 and 40 enrapture her. The exports of the English colony of Virginia hardly reached in 1617 to 20.000 pounds, as long as those of Venezuela were at least 5 times superiors, and the highest rates, because from the XVI century the Venezuelan tobacco obtained the preference of the European consumers in the English, French, German, Dutch and later Russian markets, to the point of being introduced to the Spanish kings in 1613 archdukes Alberto's application and Isabel, of Flandes, about the exclusive concession of the trade of Venezuela, on the base of 3 annual ships with effects for the supply of this government and the extraction of all its crop of tobacco. Before to give it at third, the Crown preferred to take to its position the monopoly of the tobacco. The 1621, the King authorized governor Juan Tribiño Guillamas to hire with the farmers, to his name and for 2 year-old time, the whole production of tobacco, which would be directed to Cartagena of India and of there to Spain. The authorization extended at 4.000 you enrapture of Caracas and 5.000 of Trujillo. The business got ready with the Town council from Caracas that reduced the quantity from Caracas to 2.000 you only enrapture, but it elevated the price at 60 real it enraptures her, very superior to the last rate reached by the tobacco of this county. However, as the Town council  only made the adjustment of the exportable quantity in benefit of their main members,  left  went to the farmers without influence in the breast of that Body who you/they had been able to offer a much bigger quantity; these, discouraged, they decided to move away from that cultivation and to be devoted to other, among them to that of the cocoa whose exports began to grow extending the plantations to big areas in the vicinities of the costs. For the same time they also began the extractions of tobacco of the government of Cumaná. That of more prestige from the first times was the coming from Barinas that was extracted in their biggest part by Maracaibo; their fame placed him in the first place among those more requested in Europe, reaching the highest rate, above that of Cuba, and exactly to preserve its reputation and to avoid that its appreciation descended, from very early its production was controlled always maintaining it below the demand, and it dedicated it entirely to the export, leaving stops the interior consumption and that of Spain, only that of the species harvested in Guaruto, in the vicinities of Turmero and the lake of Valencia. The business with the European markets of the north was ventilated directly by the Crown through the Dutch trade after the recognition of the occupation of Curazao and its definitive surrender to Holland for the treaty of Westfalia in 1648. For this reason, in the registrations of the exports going to Spain, the item of the tobacco during the XVII century was seen descend to very low figures and it still disappeared in very long periods as it was observed between 1660 and 1675, because although important quantities used to go for bill of the Crown, they didn't register, being reembarked in Seville toward Amsterdam; but the operation was generally made by the merchants' of Curazao conduit. 
Already XVIII and once overcome in the middle of century the big suffering penalties by reason of the wars of the first 2 decades, according to the statistic of the production formed by Pedro José of Olavarriaga in 1720, the picked up crops of tobacco that year in the county of Venezuela they gave the following yields: 

------------------------------------------------- 
Production local Consumption 
------------------------------------------------- 
Valencia 4.000 enraptures 2.000 you enrapture 
San Carlos 2.000 500 
Nirgua 2.000 
Barquisimeto 4.000 1.000 
Guanare 9.000 
Trujillo 2.000 
Choir 200 200 
------------------------------------------------- 

The total production mounted at 23.200 you enrapture, and being the interior consumption of only 3.700, was a surplus for the export of 19.500 you enrapture. The whole production of Nirgua, Guanare and Trujillo were dedicated to the export and the neighboring production covered its consumption, because that of those 3 regions enjoyed certain preference among the strange consumers or it dedicated it to particular uses, like it was the case of the chimó. Olavarriaga estimated that the production was higher of that than its informants declared, and it also admitted that most was extracted by the road of the smuggling. In this case realizábase this stealthy trade, doesn't stop to only avoid the export taxes that were very low, 2,5%, but to deceive the existent prohibition on the foreign trade and to obtain in payment of the tobacco merchandises on those that weighed an introduction tax from the 7,5 to 12%, or that they could not simply be introduced. 
The Cigar store of the Tobacco 
It was the most remarkable episode in connection with this product. It was established in 1779, in benefit of the Crown, and the Republic maintained it up to 1833. The real ordinance that gave him origin was dictated June 24 1777 and  understood the counties of Venezuela, Maracaibo, Cumaná, Guayana and islands of Margarita and Trinidad. Their execution put on in charge of the intendant Ábalos José, and it sought to justify this will for the extraordinary expenses of the preparations of war with England.  intended to the inhabitants of those counties that chooses among the Cigar store, or a tax or adjusted lease with the cities and villages, under the rule that for each quintal of tobacco is to the Real Treasury 12 pesos of utility. Consulted the city councils, these opted for the Cigar store being established by the decree of the intendant of April 28 1779. They were forbidden the free plantations and they were dictated the rules that should be continued for the cultivation and gathering, being imposed the annual resiembro to guarantee the maximum quality of the product, so that the earth should be entirely removed and prepared. They were pointed out the lands that the experts chose as the most profitable for this species, and in order to stimulating the farmers of Aragua, where it was located the area of Guaruto, they were made offers of equal prices in exchange for putting in the real warehouses all the necessary tobacco for the regional consumption. Providences were also adopted to foment in the towns of Guanare, Araure and Ospino the sows of the tobacco type curaseca, species that had been cultivated there "...con such a perfection that  promises to be able to decrease to powder..." for the production of the snuff, of which consumed the county 6.000 annual pounds that you/they were brought of the Real Factory of Seville. In the government of Cumaná the Cigar store entered in validity in April of 1781, and it stops its establishment it was formulated by the own intendant Ábalos a regulation of 61 articles. Trinidad was outside of the Cigar store "...por to liberate from all load and contribution to the foreign colonists that voluntarily have been devoted to populate it...", the same ones that in 1797 they served as support for the taking for England of this county that belonged to the jurisdiction of the current Venezuela. 
The opposition to the Cigar store took place in some regions where the farmers were affected by the new system. The events assumed extreme graveness in  Screams Her, where a tumult headed by Matías Márquez with the purpose of eliminating the administrator of the Real Treasury, José Trinidad Noguera and Neira took place. A representation subscribed by the notables of the place directed to the governor from Maracaibo, of which the territory depended of  Screams Her,  complained about the price fixed to the tobacco and of some taxes on the showy one and the livestock in foot. It was necessary the intervention of the public force to subject to the turbulent ones, although there were not punishments that sins of extreme rigor. In Cumaná, Margarita and Aragua, they abandoned the cultivation of the tobacco, only renewing it after receiving guarantees of a better price and  buys for the Real Treasury of the whole production. Caracas on the other hand, represented by their Town council, it continued during a lot of time exercising pressure against the Cigar store; the king gave and for identification of October 31 1792 it ordered the abolition of the Cigar store in Venezuela. But this time protests took place in defense of the system, sustaining it the farmers of Aragua, territory belonging to the government of Caracas, faced the representatives of the Town council from Caracas; it also supported the Estanco Barinas, already constituted in separate county, and one of the main beneficiaries of the system for the preference that received their product, and in the same sense there were the farmers' of the other regions manifestations where the tobacco was cultivated. The Town council of Caracas, with the intendant's authorization Esteban Fernández from León, requested the convocation of a Meeting of Municipalities that erroneously some historians called "Congress", being hardly a consultation meeting with representation of the town councils, similar to other meetings carried out in previous dates. It is necessary to remember that the governor from Caracas didn't have authority on the other 5 governments, but you grieve in the military thing as general captain, for what his influence was very small, hardly on the very scarce armed forces, as long as yes it was big that of the intendant that was it of that entire immense territory and in a matter that interested the whole population. Summoned, because, this Meeting of Municipalities, the deep fissures were noticed that separated them, and finally there being you fixed July 20 1793 to celebrate the meeting, they were only present the representatives of 6 cities of the single county of Caracas; the other counties or governments refused to attend. The disagreement reached to the own Town council of Caracas, because 6 of its 13 members only converged, and after the first purely informative meeting the representatives of 3 cities retired. The convocation had failed, because neither even in the breast of the only representation of the concurrent county there was conformity. The reason was the serious contradiction of interests that they separated to those counties in front of the group of the powerful merchant-farmers represented in the Town council of Caracas, because even the farmers of the other cantons or cities, as those of Valencia and Guanare, were contrary to the interests of the oligarches from Caracas. 
The attendance of the State lent directly to the producers covered all the phases of the production: 1) technique: by means of the advice for specialists; utensils and tools; and store for the deposit and conservation of the product. 2) supplies: lands, although only for the use; it dilutes, for the watering of the plantations; payments and selected seeds. 3) financial: subsidies to the production; advances and loans with the single guarantee of the crops. 4) fiscal: discharges of taxes; profitable prices that after covering all the expenses and wages, leaves the farmer an utility that compensated their effort and investment. The warehouses built in Barinas occupied an area of 6.730 square sticks, distributed in 3 big constructions; the one bigger than them had 76 sticks of long and 40 of wide, and the other ones 2 only smaller in longitude, located to bank of the Sacred river Domingo. The interior trade of the tobacco understood the traffic among the 7 counties contained under the Intendency. The species sold in 1782, when the Cigar store was already firmly established, they were the following ones: tobacco in branch, 480.000 pounds; cigarettes in bundles of 20 units, 331.454 pounds; powdered tobacco (I shaved) of the factory of Seville, 3.097 pounds; mold, 1.650; chimó, 922, and urao, 82 pounds. The sales showed in the following years a firm rise tendency, to the point of being ended up proposing the import of 64.000 enrapture of tobacco of Virginia (United States), to dedicate them to the interior consumption and to liberate a quantity similar of the local production for the export. The centers of local distribution were the Estanquillos, small merchants' property, supplied by the agents of the Cigar store and closely supervised by the officials. The prices to the consumer were the following ones: the pound of the tobacco of to chew or to smoke, 4 real; the powdered tobacco or I shaved, 16 real the pound; the bundle of 10 cigarettes, half real. The prices to the producer settled down in 1787, were: of first, 28 real it enraptures; of second, 24, and of third 20 real, for the tobaccos of Maracay and Guaruto; 2 years later a real increase of 4 was granted on each one of these classes. The national trade, that is to say among the different parts that composed the Spanish empire, era relatively of short proportions because, on one hand, the Spanish domains in America produced a quantity of enough tobacco to cover part of the local demand, or they had a near source of supply, like it was the case of the regions of the south Pacific. Of the Venezuelan production, the type curanegra was absorbed entirely by the local consumption and  didn't have markets outside of each county, as long as the curaseca was dedicated exclusively to the international trade, with the single exception of a small quantity that was remitted to the factory of snuff of Seville, up to 1803 in that the employment of the Venezuelan tobacco ceased in this use. Also, that imperial trade was dominated by the production of Cuba that reached at 138.700 you enrapture in 1770 and a bigger figure in the following years, and its snuff factory competed with that of Seville. In several opportunities Venezuela bought big quantities of Cuban snuff: in 1792, more than 6.000 pounds, and in 1796, almost 10.000 pounds; the same thing happened in the following years when the difficulties of the marine traffic grew for causes of war. 
The international trade 
That of the Venezuelan tobacco was founded absolutely in the curaseca of Barinas: although these exports began in times of the Compañía Guipuzcoana in small quantities, it corresponded to the intendant Ábalos the promotion of this trade in 1782 correspondent's letter to the minister José of Gálvez who consulted to the consuls from Spain in Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Holland, where there were already some consumption of the tobacco of Barinas and Guanare. The answer was affirmative and from then on there was a very active trade of this leaf in those remote regions, as an exclusive business of the Spanish State. The whole production of this tobacco was dedicated to those markets, because the consumption of the town should even be assisted with the tobacco coming from other regions; also, that production was regulated so that in any case exceeds of the European demand. Initially  behaved directly from The Guaira to Amsterdam, from where in turn it was distributed to the ports of the European north; however, the difficulties and risks of the wars of the last decade of the XVIII century, determined a change: from now on  behaved to Curazao where  went aboard in Dutch ships and the whole following procedure was in those merchants' hands that acted as agents of the Spanish Crown. The consumption of the Low Countries and Prussia estimábase in 1787 between 9.000 and 10.000 annual trunks of tobacco Barinas, that which gave a firm base for a bigger negotiation; however it was ordered to stagnate the production in only 12.000 annual trunks. This business reached such a degree of prosperity that ended up being considered the most opulent and profitable in the Spanish Crown. The only contract with the signature Robinson and Company of Curazao, taken place in December of 1802, to the closing of January of the following year had left to the Public Treasury of the metropolis 272.600 pesos of liquid utility, in a single sale operation, partly paid in black slaves, that that in turn gave a considerable additional utility. 
End of the Cigar store 
The years of the War of Independence they had disastrous effects so much on the cultivation as the trade. The plantations were abandoned, because being most of the farmers of origin canary, these were pursued relentlessly since the fight to the death ordinance went directed against them. The shortage of the product arrived to the end of becoming necessary in 1822 the import of thick quantities of tobacco of Virginia and of Cuba, nevertheless that it was this a domain of the enemy nation: for different means they were bought of Havana more than 14.000 pounds. Also, the European markets got lost and it was not possible to reconquer them because, on one hand, the agent motor of that trade had been the own Spanish Crown that  dedicated all its attention from now on to the Cuban production. Also, having ceased the supervision and the régime to that you/they were subjected the cultivations, the farmers moved so zealously away from the norms applied by the Cigar store, reason why the quality lowered very flagrantly. Once consolidated the peace, the Republic sought to make of the tobacco the main instrument financier for the payment of the foreign debt. The plan was elaborated by José Rafael  Goes bad and  received Simón Bolivar's support, but it could not meet the foreseen quantity neither  was a satisfactory answer of the merchants that you/they must place the tobacco in Europe; neither the prices promised utility on the costs and expenses. Finally the project was abandoned when taking place the separation of Venezuela of Colombia, and the new Republic was shown contrary to the Cigar store, abolishing it in 1833. The Congress ordered for ordinance of May 15 1836 the sale in public auction of all the lands, urban, useful properties, tackle and other goods of the Rent of the Tobacco. E.Ar.F. 
The industry starting from 1875 
During the last decades of the XIX century and the first of the XX one the cultivation of the tobacco was subject to the same limitations that the rest of the agriculture, that is to say, experienced the uncertainty caused by the civil conflicts and the shortage of resources that it characterized to the economy prepetrolera. It could be said that the properly this tobacco industry had begun in 1875 with the factory of cigarettes The Cripple, because although it is certain that before that date numerous units of handmade production of tobaccos and stings, the tobacconists and existent cigarrerías existed they expended Cuban tobaccos, mainly. The industry cigarette seller, according to a cartoon of "Ray" in The Magic Lantern of 1901,  appeared like a mule puffing, sitting on their hocks and halando a heavy load of taxes on tobacco, tickets, national bell, right of school stamp, industry patent, imposed customs officers and patents of cars. In the first years of the XX century,  is founded between Lumberman's corners from Caracas and Bucare the C.A. Cigarette seller Bigott, sold in 1922 to the Consortium of the British-American Tobacco Company, fact that began a new stage, so much for the agriculture, like for the trade of the tobacco. Before 1938, the cultivation of the blond tobacco (Virginia), it was not known and it is in that year when their introduction marks another stage for farmers and industrial, since due to the best quality in the blond tobacco, it was possible to increase the prices received by the farmer and it allowed the development of the industry cigarrillera. Twenty years after their introduction in the country, 86% of the production corresponded to the blond tobacco, proportion that increased quickly, until arriving in 1984 to 98%. The annual average of production of tobacco (blond and black) among the years 1945 and 1963 were of 8.000 t. In the decade 1975-1984 it was of 15.934 t and for the five year period 1989-1993 it was of 15.000 t. Such an expansion has made diminish the imports of tobacco greatly in branch until very low figures, always inferior to 500 annual t. Equally, they have diminished the imports of cigarettes and tobaccos ("pure"), to the point that in 1984 they reached 16 t and in 1983 only to 4,164 t including packings and packings. The most important production areas in the country are understood in the states Guárico, Portuguese and Cojedes, in that order, with 85% of the production. 

 


 

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