‘Do not travel’: US issues severe warning for this country

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NEW DELHI: The United States has reissued its highest-level travel advisory for Venezuela, primarily due to civil unrest, a “slide towards dictatorship,” persistent terrorism threats, and anti-American sentiment.
Authorities warned the citizens that their government “has no ability to provide emergency services to US citizens” if they face any trouble while visiting Venezuela.
Additionnally, the situation is so dangerous as per the officials that they recommends travelers who choose to visit Venezuela to first “establish a ‘proof of life’ protocol with your loved ones.
“If you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).The Department has determined there is a high risk of wrongful detention of US nationals in Venezuela. Security forces have detained US citizens for up to five years,” said the state department.
Venezuela, known for its extensive, largely undeveloped Caribbean coastline and unspoiled nearby islands, once attracted hundreds of thousands of American tourists each year. However, visitor numbers started to decline and then plummeted when Nicolás Maduro assumed power following the death of the authoritarian Hugo Chávez in 2013.
The State Department stated that in the most recent election, Maduro “illegally claimed the presidency of Venezuela, despite global condemnation of a rigged election” and is steering the country towards dictatorship. Similar to Chávez, Maduro is reinforcing “alliances with outside nations including Cuba, Russia, Iran, and China, that repress the Venezuelan people further.”
The updated warning, initially released in 2019 when the US started withdrawing personnel from Venezuela, was reissued on May 13, preceding a crucial July election that will determine the future of the South American nation.
Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Anti-Maduro demonstrations have elicited a strong police and security force response, including the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants. These events “occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism,” said officials.

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