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Venezuela Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

May 31, 2007

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert American citizens to continuing nationwide demonstrations throughout Venezuela in the wake of the governments decision not to renew the broadcasting license of Radio Caracas Television. In light of the current environment, it is recommended that the American public carefully consider the risks of travel to Venezuela. This Public Announcement expires June 29, 2007.

Demonstrations, which began the weekend of May 27-28, continue in Caracas, Maracay, Maracaibo, Merida, Porlamar, Valencia, and other major cities. Demonstrators are congregating in main streets and plazas in support of freedom of speech. Students are calling for university strikes to protest President Chavezs decision not to renew Radio Caracas Televisions (RCTVs) broadcast license. The government is organizing counter-demonstrations. Riot police are out in force near congregations of demonstrators and near government buildings in Caracas and other major cities. While some demonstrations are occurring without incident, police in Caracas used tear gas, water cannons, and plastic pellets to disperse crowds over the weekend of May 27-28. There are reports of at least one fatality.

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens in Venezuela to exercise caution in and around the countrys major cities and to monitor local media and other information sources in order to avoid areas in which demonstrations are occurring. American citizens are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful may turn violent.

In light of the current circumstances, U.S. citizens are advised to consider the risks before traveling to Venezuela at this time. American citizens already in Venezuela should monitor regularly the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Consular Information Sheet for Venezuela, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and other travel information can be found. Up to date information on security also can be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada. Callers outside the United States and Canada may call a toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are answered from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

All Americans in Venezuela are urged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov, or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Venezuela and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency. Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans with an e-mail address.

The U.S. Embassy is located at Calle 7 con calle Suapure, Urb. Colinas de Valle Arriba. The 24-hour telephone number is (58) 212-975-6411. The U.S. Embassy website is http://caracas.usembassy.gov/. In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call the above number and ask to be transferred to the duty officer.

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