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CORO:

A town in Venezuela, five miles from its seaport, La Vela de Coro, on the Caribbean Sea. It had, in the early days of the republic, many Jewish inhabitants, who came from the island of Curaçao, in the Dutch West Indies, about sixty miles from La Vela de Coro.

In the year 1855 the Jews of Coro, numbering about 300, were plundered, maltreated, and driven to seek refuge in their native place, Curaçao. As they claimed Dutch citizenship, the consul-general for the Netherlands, Van Lansberge, informed the home government, and three ships of war were sent to La Guayra, the principal seaport of Venezuela, and the redress demanded was at once granted. The Venezuelan government agreed to salute the Dutch flag; to restore to the Jews their property; and to pay an indemnity of 200,000 pesos ($160,000), the last clause being carried into effect in 1859, after lengthy diplomatic negotiations with the ambassador of the Netherlands, Jhr. O. van Rees.

In 1863 there were about 250 Jews in Coro, and religious services were held at the residence of Mordehay Abraham Senior, and afterward at that of his son Isaac. The cemetery, established in 1858, is situated on the outskirts of the town.

Another outbreak against foreigners, in June, 1902, compelled the Jews again to seek an asylum in Curaçao, tendered to them by the governor of the island, Jhr. J. O. de Jong van Beek en Doorn, who, upon learning the facts, despatched the Dutch man-of-war "Koningin Regentesse" to protect them. It returned to Curaçao with eighty Jewish women and children on board. In July following, the same vessel was sent to La Vela de Coro for the remainder, and only a few Jewish residents remained behind to protect the property of the exiles.

A. J. H. M. C.
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