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Venezuelans living in Spain hold a giant Venezuelan flag as they protest in support of the Venezuelan opposition during a demonstration in Madrid on May 1, 2019. Hundreds of Venezuelans rallied in central Madrid in support of their country's self-proclaimed leader Juan Guaido, as riots broke out in faraway Caracas. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

NEWS HEADLINES: U.S. Issues Drastic ‘Do Not Travel’ Warning For Venezuela – One America News Network

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OAN’s James Meyers
8:33 AM – Friday, May 24, 2024

The United States has officially renewed its travel warning for Venezuela, pleading with American travelers to understand that their government “has no ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens” who run into trouble in the country.

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It’s the most severe warning the Department of State can issue, which they blamed on civil unrest, a “slide towards dictatorship,” ongoing threats of terrorism, and anti-American bias. 

“Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common in Venezuela,” the agency added.

Additionally, the threat is so drastic that the U.S. government advises travelers who insist on going 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),” officials explained.

“The Department has determined there is a high risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals in Venezuela. Security forces have detained U.S. citizens for up to five years,” the agency added, warning that the American government is hardly notified or allowed access to incarcerated nationals.

Thousands of Americans previously traveled to Venezuela annually, with the South American country being known for its miles of largely undeveloped Caribbean coastline and immaculate islands. 

However, the number of American travelers began to go down when Nicolas Maduro became president following the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013. 

After the most recent election, the State Department stated that Maduro “illegally claimed the presidency of Venezuela, despite global condemnation of a rigged election” and is using methods to move the country towards dictatorship.

Just like Chavez did, Maduro has strengthened “alliances with outside nations including Cuba, Russia, Iran, and China, that repress the Venezuelan people further.”

The newest warning, which was first issued in 2019, when the U.S. began pulling American personnel from Venezuela, was reissued on May 13th

The dire warning also comes with a highly-anticipated upcoming July election that the country is depending on. 

“Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Anti-Maduro demonstrations have elicited a strong police and security force response,” the department added, “including the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants.”

These events “occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism,” they said.

Meanwhile, the country is also dealing with a shortage of electricity, water, gasoline, and medicine. 

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