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Venezuela Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 02, 2002

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the increasingly volatile political and security situation in Venezuela, and to advise them to take prudent security measures. It expires on March 25, 2003.

Ongoing political conflict between the government and the opposition has resulted in a highly volatile security situation in Caracas and surrounding areas. Demonstrations, counter-demonstrations, and resulting street confrontations have led to instances of violence and disorder. The national government has taken control of the Caracas Metropolitan Police and this intervention, coupled with internal labor disputes, has crippled the effectiveness of the Metropolitan Police. Opposition groups have called for a general strike, of unknown duration, to begin on December 2, 2002. The U.S. Government is concerned that the potential for violence is increasing.

U.S. citizens should exercise maximum caution and take prudent measures to maintain their security. These measures include maintaining a strong security posture by being aware of their surroundings and avoiding political gatherings. U.S. citizens should also be aware that the crime rate traditionally rises during the holiday season, which may heighten security concerns in an already volatile situation. U.S. Consular personnel remain available to provide emergency information and services to American citizens. In the case of an emergency or for the latest security information, the U.S. Embassy can be reached at 58-212-975-6411. For further information, please see the latest Consular Information Sheet for Venezuela and the latest Worldwide Caution that are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov.

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