The US has urged its citizens to avoid travel to Venezuela, citing crime and possibility of Americans being targeted after Washington announced new economic sanctions against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
“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,” the State Department said on Tuesday.
“US citizens residing or travelling in Venezuela should strongly consider departing Venezuela. Commercial flights remain available,” the department said, noting that the US Embassy in Caracas is open but “has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Venezuela.”
“Travel Advisory Update — Level 4: Do Not Travel,” was the headline of the department’s statement.
Last week, the State Department ordered all non-emergency US government personnel to leave Venezuela, Efe news reported.
On January 23, President Donald Trump recognised the speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, as Venezuela’s interim head of state.
The Venezuelan Supreme Court on Tuesday approved a travel ban on Guaido and also froze his bank accounts.