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Venezuela Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

May 25, 2006

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. Citizens traveling to and residing in Venezuela of the collapse of the first bridge on the Caracas-La Guaira highway and the closure of the alternate bridge bypass route (la trocha). The highway is the principal link between Caracas and Maiquetia Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS), as well as between Caracas and the countrys principal seaport, La Guaira. This Public Announcement updates the Public Announcement issued January 11, 2006; it expires on December 5, 2006.

Heavy rains and shifting soil have caused the temporary closure of the alternate bridge bypass route while the Government of Venezuela works on structures to contain additional landslides. The Government expects the bypass to be closed on an intermittent basis for an indefinite period, including regular closures between 10 pm and 4 am. During bypass closures, traffic will be diverted to the Carretera Vieja (old highway) and Al Limon roads. In addition, the route through Galipan remains open to traffic. There continues to be a security presence on the alternate roads.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas encourages American citizens to take the following steps when traveling to/from the airport:

When planning travel to the airport, use a reliable taxi service familiar with the roads (rather than driving yourself). There is a list of transportation providers on the U.S. Embassy website at: http://caracas.usembassy.gov/wwwh2706.html.

To the extent possible, consider traveling during daylight hours.

Traffic back-ups are likely to occur, so leave plenty of time to get to the airport.

American citizens are urged to remain abreast of the situation and to develop personal contingency plans as appropriate. In addition to local media, American citizens may consult the Embassy's web page for current guidance. The Embassy's web page can be found at http://venezuela.usembassy.gov. As additional information becomes available the Embassy will disseminate it via the warden registration system. American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. The U.S. Embassy in Caracas can be reached at (58) 212-975-6411.

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