Security Message for U.S. Citizens in Caracas: Protests Scheduled for June 23 and 24

UPDATE: There are reports of roads being blocked in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy.  All U.S. Embassy personnel have been advised to refrain from attempting to return to the Embassy until after the sit-ins have dispersed.

The Embassy has received reports of marches and roadblocks planned for today, June 23 and Saturday, June 24.  There are reports of roadblocks around the city as well as a demonstration beginning this morning with plans to march from Parque Cristal to Las Mercedes. Specific gathering points and routes remain unclear at this time and are often coordinated only hours beforehand. However, U.S. Embassy personnel have been advised to avoid Las Mercedes and Altamira today.

La Mesa de la Unidad (MUD) as well as the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) have called for gatherings on Saturday June 24 in and around Caracas. Specific gathering points have not been announced and are often coordinated only hours beforehand.

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.

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.

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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