US Issues Severe 'Do Not Travel' Warning For Caribbean Country

By Jason Hall

May 24, 2024

Margarita Island
Photo: Getty Images

The United States has renewed its "Do not travel" warning for Venezuela, claiming citizens visiting the Caribbean country must understand its government "has no ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens" who find themselves in trouble, the Department of State announced.

The travel advisory notice, which is the most severe the agency can issue, stemmed from "crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws," according to officials.

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

Officials claimed the threat was so dire that any travelers who insist on visiting Venezuela must first "establish a 'proof of life' protocol with your loved ones, so that 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 U.S. nationals in Venezuela. Security forces have detained U.S. citizens for up to five years,” the agency added. "The U.S. government is not generally notified of the detention of U.S. citizens in Venezuela or granted access to U.S. citizen prisoners there."

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were reported to visit Venezuela, a country known for its largely undeveloped coastline and islands, annually prior to President Nicolás Maduro rising to power following the death of Hugo Chávez in 2013. The U.S. State Department claims Maduro "illegally claimed the presidency of Venezuela, despite global condemnation of a rigged election” and intends to shift the country into a dictatorship.

Advertise With Us
Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.