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Venezuela Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 11, 2002

This Travel Warning is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the deteriorating political and security situation in Venezuela and accompanying severe shortages of goods and services. In addition, this Travel Warning alerts U.S. citizens that the Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela. U.S. citizens are warned to defer all travel to Venezuela at this time, and those already in Venezuela are urged to consider departing. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 6, 2002, and expires on March 5, 2003.

On December 10, 2002, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela due to the deteriorating political and security situation and the severe shortages of fuel and food supplies. Opponents of President Chavez began a general strike on December 2. Resulting conflicts have led to some deaths and injuries. There is a potential for further violence. This strike has crippled the operations of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and led to shortages and outages of gasoline and other fuels. Key goods and services have been dramatically affected both by the strike and transportation difficulties. Fuel and basic food supplies are critically low, and ground transportation throughout the country is operating on a very limited basis. Local airline services have been suspended, and international flights have been scaled back.

The State Department warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Venezuela at this time. U.S. citizens in Venezuela should look closely at their own security situation and consider departing the country.

U.S. Consular personnel remain available to provide emergency information and services to American citizens and will provide assistance to any Americans who need help departing the country. In 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 .

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