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Friday, June 1, 2018

United States warns its citizens not to go to Venezuela

Por Kvothe

The United States asked this week to avoid traveling to Venezuela, raising the risk to its citizens in terms of security after the elections in the South American country in which the President Nicolás Maduro was re-elected, reported El Nuevo Herald. Find out next all the details on the matter.

"Reconsider trips to Venezuela due to crimes, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure and arbitrary arrests and detentions of US citizens", the State Department said in an update dated May 29 to its travel advice for that country.

Venezuela happened to be at level three on a scale of four, prior to the current request of not to travel. Also at level three are Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Turkey and Lebanon, as well as many African countries.

The State Department directly recommended "not traveling" on roads outside of Caracas at nightfall, in particular from Simón Bolívar International Airport to the capital, as well as visiting some Caracas neighborhoods, such as the popular neighborhoods of Petare and 23 de Enero, as well as border zones with Colombia.

"Violent crimes, such as homicides, armed robberies, kidnappings of people and vehicles, are common", it warned. The State Department also said that political demonstrations take place "often on short notice" and the "strong response" of the security forces includes the use of tear gas and pepper and rubber bullets against the participants. These protests may end in looting and vandalism.

Regarding the border area with Colombia, was recommended not approaching 80 km from the border due to the presence of armed groups in the Venezuelan states of Zulia, Táchira and Apure. "Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking and smuggling occur frequently in these areas. Some victims of kidnapping are released after paying the ransom, while others are killed," was declared.

On May 15, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States raised the sanitary risk in Venezuela to three, calling on Americans to "avoid non-essential trips" to that country, given the lack of medicines and supplies. After the elections of May 20, in which Maduro won a second term until 2025, experts predict a worsening of the social and economic crisis in the oil country, reflected in the shortage of food and medicine, hyperinflation, severe recession and the fall of the production of crude.