Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Upcoming Venezuelan Parliamentary Elections

Venezuela’s parliamentary elections will be held next week on Sunday, December 6, 2015.  U.S. citizens living, working or traveling in Venezuela are advised to exercise caution on that date, and also during days before and after that may be affected by election-related rules, practices, and security operations.  While election campaigns are generally peaceful in Venezuela, there is potential for incidents of violence to occur.  U.S. citizens are advised to avoid political gatherings and demonstrations.  We also encourage U.S. citizens to limit travel within the country on Election Day and in the days before and after the election.

On December 1, 2015, as a routine part of the election process, the Venezuelan military will begin a security operation known as the ‘Plan Republica.’ Under this plan, the Venezuelan military will deploy throughout the country to provide security at voting places during the election.  We expect that during the “Plan Republica” there will be a heavy and visible military presence, especially in the cities and around polling places.  In addition, there will be special laws in effect immediately before and after the election.  These include bans on selling alcohol, carrying firearms, and public gatherings of groups.

Monitor local news and practice good personal security measures.  If your school or employer has a security or emergency preparedness plan, please be sure to familiarize yourself with its content and otherwise have a plan in place to ensure you and your family’s safety.  In the days preceding and immediately following the election, many shops and public places will likely be closed, or open limited hours, and staple items may be more difficult to obtain.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

If there are changes to the assessment of the overall situation during the next weeks, the Embassy will provide updated information in another Message to U.S. citizens.

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Venezuela.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) o receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, located at Calle F con Calle Surapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba, at +58 212-975-6411 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is 0212-907-8400.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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