Security Message for U.S. citizens: Temporary Amendment to Embassy Movement Policy

The U.S. Embassy In Caracas informs all U.S. citizens in Venezuela that the policy regulating the movements of U.S. citizen Embassy employees and their family members in Caracas and elsewhere in Venezuela has been updated.  As always, the Embassy encourages all U.S. citizens living in and traveling through Venezuela to remain vigilant at all times and to practice good personal security.

On March 21, the U.S. Embassy Movement Policy was temporarily amended to prohibit travel by Embassy personnel without permission from the Chief of Mission to the following cities because of ongoing unrest and incidents of violence:  San Cristobal, Merida, Valencia, Maracaibo, Maracay, Barquisimeto, Puerto Ordaz, Ciudad Guayana, Puerto La Cruz, and Lecheria.

For travel within Caracas under the amended policy, U.S. citizen Embassy employees are not permitted to enter the area of Los Palos Grandes between Avenida Francisco de Miranda and Transversal 4 and between San Juan Bosco and 4ta Avenida.  Embassy employees are required to verify travel conditions by calling Embassy security offices before traveling to the following Caracas neighborhoods:  Chacao, El Hatillo, Santa Monica, Bello Monte, Ciudad Universitaria, La Trinidad, Cafetal, Santa Paula, San Luis, Cuarimare, and Cerro Verde.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local 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) at https://step.state.gov/step.  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Venezuela at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/venezuela.html.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within 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 us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Android market, to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas is located on Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba. The telephone number during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is (011) 58-212-975-6411.  For after-hours emergencies use (011) 58-212-907-8400.  The fax is (011) 58-212-907-8199.  Please check the Embassy website for additional information.