1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Lara
LARA, western state of Venezuela, lying in the angle formed by the parting of the N. and N.E. ranges of the Cordillera de Mérida and extending N.E. with converging frontiers to the Caribbean. Pop. (1905 estimate) 272,252. The greater part of its surface is mountainous, with elevated fertile valleys which have a temperate climate. The Tocuyo river rises in the S.W. angle of the state and flows N.E. to the Caribbean with a total length of 287 m. A narrow-gauge railway, the “South-western,” owned by British capitalists, runs from the port of Tucacas 55 m. S.W. to Barquisimeto by way of the Aroa copper-mining district. Lara produces wheat and other cereals, coffee, sugar, tobacco, neat cattle, sheep and various mineral ores, including silver, copper, iron, lead, bismuth and antimony. The capital, Barquisimeto, is one of the largest and most progressive of the inland cities of Venezuela. Carora is also prominent as a commercial centre. Tocuyo (pop. in 1891, 15,383), 40 m. S.W. of Barquisimeto, is an important commercial and mining town, over 2000 ft. above sea-level, in the midst of a rich agricultural and pastoral region. Yaritagua (pop. about 12,000), 20 m. E. of Barquisimeto, and 1026 ft. above the sea, is known for its cigar manufactories.