The federal government has marked Venezuela as high risk and issued an advisory warning Canadians not to travel to the country.
According to the advisory, Canadian travellers should avoid the country due to “the significant level of violent crime, the unstable political and economic situations and the decline in basic living conditions, including shortages of medication, food staples, gasoline and water.”
Avoid all travel to #Venezuela due to the significant level of violent crime, the unstable political and economic situations and the decline in basic living conditions, including shortages of medication, food staples, gasoline and water. https://t.co/yqCzX8kbbe
— Travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) February 5, 2019
The warning states that the security situation in Venezuela could deteriorate with little to no warning, and outlines different types of violent and petty crime that currently run rampant in the country.
Venezuela has one of the world’s highest homicide rates and drug trafficking through the country’s borders with Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana is prevalent.
Travellers are also advised that the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía (Caracas) is dangerous, with frequent violent crimes occurring both inside the facility and in the surrounding areas.
Kidnappers are very active in the country, and attempt to force their victims to withdraw funds from an ATM.
Large scale social unrest is also cited as one of the factors making Venezuela highly unstable, with national strikes, roadblocks, and marches occurring on a regular basis.
The South American country has been in the news after incumbent President Nicolás Maduro was re-elected in the 2018 Venezuelan presidential elections.
Most recently, Maduro, who is backed by the army, stated in an interview that civil war is not out of the question, as opposition leaders pressure him to step down.