Published On: Tue, Dec 29th, 2015

Foreign Affairs issues warning to those traveling to Venezuela

CaracasWILLEMSTAD - The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again tightened the travel advice for Venezuela. According to the Interior, Venezuela is among the most violent countries in the world and it does not recommend its citizens to travel to the neighboring country.

The Foreign Ministry reports that in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections on December 6, in which the opposition has won with great force, an increase of political tensions and unrest can be the result.

“Experience shows that political developments in Venezuela and the increasing scarcity in stores, can result in demonstrations,” according to the website of Foreign Affairs. The ministry advises, especially to avoid the big cities as much as possible. The airport and the road to Caracas are described as extremely dangerous, but there is also an alert issued for areas in and around Caracas, Valencia, Maracaibo and Isla Margarita, which is subject to regular robberies at gunpoint.

Sailing yachts that lay at anchor off the coast are often the target of robberies. The border areas with Colombia are considered in particular as 'no-go' areas.

“Heavily armed Colombian guerrillas and criminal gangs are present here and the areas known for drug trafficking.”

This area comes is described by Foreign Affairs as dangerous because of the many serious crimes, such as kidnappings, robberies and mutual settlements. In the big cities, many robbers operate using motorbikes.

Regularly do criminals pose as taxi drivers and then rob or kidnap their victims. Here criminals choose their victims in advance and there is, in accordance with Foreign Affairs, an increase in the number of express kidnappings in the last month, in particular in the relatively safe and towns Chacao and El Hatillo in Caracas.

Foreign Affairs also advises visitors to Venezuela to not go on the streets alone; and do not visit the neighborhoods around the larger cities because of organized gangs; do not to drive after dark; do not camp or go to beaches after dark; and travel as organized as possible.

Motorists are warned for carjacking.

The Ministry also advises not to wear flashy jewelry or use smartphones and tablets used in public; do not exchange money other than at the official exchange offices; and to minimize the use of credit cards because of the high degree of credit card fraud.

Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns about the poor quality of medical care in Venezuela as a result of a serious lack of medicines and medical equipment.

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