Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: EMBASSY CLOSED July 20; Strikes and Protests Planned Throughout Country

The Embassy has received reports of a 24-hour general strike beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, July 20, until 6 a.m. Friday, July 21.  We expect there to be protests, with improvised roadblocks, throughout Caracas and other major cities.  U.S. Embassy personnel will be restricted to Santa Fe and Valle Arriba during that time.

Given operational challenges expected during the protest scheduled for Thursday, July 20, the Consular Section of Embassy Caracas will be open to the public for emergency U.S. Citizen Services only.  All immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments will be rescheduled. If you are a U.S. citizen involved in an emergency situation or you are aware of a U.S. citizen involved in an emergency situation, please call at +58 212-975-6411. After business hours, the emergency number for U.S. citizens is +58 212-907-8400.

The Embassy strongly cautions all U.S. citizens to avoid protest areas and are reminded that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  Recent protests have encountered a strong police/security force presence, the use of tear gas and sometimes rubber bullets. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests.  U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to monitor local news constantly.  Affected areas often experience traffic disruptions, and it is also reasonable to expect the heavy presence of police/security forces.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news and media stations for situational updates.  U.S. citizens in all parts of Venezuela are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.

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