Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Protests and Marches Scheduled from May 16 to 20

The Embassy has received reports of various rallies and activities that are expected to take place in Caracas and throughout the country this week, including a gathering from 5:00 to 7:00 PM, Wednesday, May 17 and an opposition-aligned demonstration slated to take place on Saturday, May 20. Specific gathering points and routes are unclear at this time; U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to monitor local news constantly should updates become available at a later time. As a precaution, travel for all U.S. diplomats may be restricted to the Santa Fe and Valle Arriba areas in Caracas, as necessary. Affected areas will likely experience traffic disruptions, and it is also reasonable to expect the heavy presence of police/security forces near these locations.

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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