Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Notifying the U.S. Embassy of Detained or Arrested U.S. Citizens

The U.S. Embassy wishes to call to the attention of U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Venezuela the Government of Venezuela’s recent detention of several U.S. citizens in Venezuela.  Under the Vienna Convention, if you are arrested overseas, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy of your arrest and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy.  In practice, the Venezuelan government frequently fails to notify the U.S. Embassy when U.S. citizens are arrested or detained, and/or delays or denies U.S. consular access to U.S. detainees.  Please ask friends or family to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately on your behalf should you be detained by government authorities.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Venezuela enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the U.S. embassy.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Venezuela, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Venezuela.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow the embassy on Twitter (@usembassyve) and Facebook and the Embassy’s American Citizens Services Unit on Twitter (@acsvenezuela) and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. embassy in Caracas is located at Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba and is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., +58 212-975-6411.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is 0212-907-8400.