CSSN News – January 24, 2019 – US Dept. of State orders the departure of non-emergency US Government employees and their family members from Venezuela, updates Level 4 travel advisory

Last Update: Reissued after “Ordered Departure” approved on January 24, 2019.

Reconsider travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Level 4 Areas – Do not travel:

  • On roads after dark outside of Caracas due to crime.
  • To certain neighborhoods within Caracas due to crime.
  • Within 50 miles of the Colombian border due to crime.

Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common.

Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.

There are shortages of food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies throughout much of Venezuela. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 `Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on May 15, 2018 due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela. Consular access to detained U.S. citizens who also have Venezuelan nationality is severely restricted by the Venezuelan government and the U.S. Embassy may not receive access in these cases.

Security forces have arbitrarily detained U.S. citizens for long periods. The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen, and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed.

On January 24, 2019, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Do not travel between cities after dark.
  • Avoid travel between Simon Bolivar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from Sim?n Bol?var International Airport, and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enrol in the Smart Traveler  Enrolment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Venezuela.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Areas outside Caracas

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Caracas as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of Caracas. Inter-city travel by car from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. is strongly discouraged and, in some cases, may be prohibited for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Certain neighborhoods in Caracas

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services in certain neighborhoods in Caracas as U.S. government personnel and their families are subject to travel restrictions for their safety and well-being. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling in the following neighborhoods on personal business:

  • Western Libertador (Vista Alegre, San Bernardino, El Retiro, 23 de Enero, Blandin, La Vega, La Rinconada, Las Mayas, Tazon, Oropeza Castillo, Lomas de Urdaneta, Propatria, Casalta, Lomas de Propatria, Carapita, Antimano, Tacagua, Ruiz Pineda, Caricuao, La Quebradita, El Atlantico, Sarria, San Martin, La Yaguara, Coche, El Valle)
  • Eastern Sucre (Barrio Puritu, Barrio La Rubia, Barrio Altavista, Petare, Caucaguita, La Dolorita, Paulo Sexto, El Llanito)
  • Specific neighborhoods in Baruta (Las Minas, Santa Cruz del Este, Ojo de Agua, La Naya, Las Minitas)

U.S. personnel are also prohibited from travel outside of the Embassy’s housing area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. in a single, unarmored car. Additionally, all U.S. personnel are required to be out of public venues and physically located within the Embassy’s housing area or another specified secure location from 2:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.

See the Safety and Security section of the country information page for additional details.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Colombian border

Drug traffickers and armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure. Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and smuggling occur frequently in these areas. Some kidnap victims are released after ransom payments, while others are murdered.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Colombian border as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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