On the governance of the island of Cubagua, and how the lieutenancy of the Castle of Cumaná was reassigned.

Translated by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

The island of Cubagua is governed by regular alcaides and regidores from the nearby city of Nueva Cáliz: and at present the Licenciado Francisco de Prado, a neighbor of this city of Santo Domingo, is installed there as resident judge, sent by Their Majesties and the lords of their Royal Council of the Indies; and traveling there by sea to assess that island and accomplish what he had been sent to do, he was attacked by a French corsair near the island of Lanzarote, which is one of the Canary or Fortunate Islands, and everything he had was taken from him, and after he was captured he was wounded by the insolent French captain. After he had robbed the judge and the others the captain released them, and the Licenciado continued on his way to Cubagua, where he has remained until now; during which time he assessed the work of the previous judge and removed the Alcaide Jacome de Castellon, who has been mentioned as having founded the bastion to assure control of the province and to protect the Cumaná River, from the lieutenancy of the fortress of Cubagua. And the Licenciado placed the fortress in the hands of another alcaide, as it remains to this day, since His Majesty names the person appointed to its lieutenancy; because he was given to understand that the expenses of maintaining the fortress were high and that the town would take it over and cover its costs. And it does not seem to me that His Majesty was well informed, as he is not well informed generally, as he would need to be, in many other things related to these parts, the distance being so great, and because even if he is told the truth, by the time the information reaches him and a decision is made, time has moved on and a different solution is required. And this is one of the reasons why so many mistakes are made, because of the time involved and the malice of the various interfering informers. And I do not want to say more about this, because it neither is nor will be to the purpose of this Natural History, although it would be for the natural remedy that the Indies require.