By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- The U.S. Embassy in Caracas is “strongly” cautioning U.S. citizens to avoid the mission and its vicinities August 28th for fear of violence during an anti-Maduro demonstration, as relationships between Caracas and Washington continue to deteriorate
In a tweet published in its official account Monday, the mission warned:“The U.S. Embassy has received reports that a group of opposition supporters are planning to march from Plaza Alfredo Sadel towards the U.S. Embassy Monday, August 28, at an undetermined time.
The U.S. Embassy will be operating under normal business hours until further notice.
The Embassy strongly cautions all U.S. citizens to avoid protest areas; 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 exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of any large gatherings or protests. Affected areas often experience traffic disruptions.
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.”
This is the third such warning in recent weeks. The U.S. embassy has not had an ambassador since 2010, when Hugo Chavez kicked the U.S. envoy out of the country and Washington reciprocated, leaving relationships at a charge d’affaires level ever since, but relations between the two countries have been rocky since 1999 and getting a whole lot worse recently.
U.S. President Donald Trump issued a vast, comprehensive slew of sanctions last Friday, basically preventing Venezuela and its main cash cow, state oil company PDVSA, from receiving profits from its U.S. refining and gasoline retail unit, Texas-based Citgo, accessing U.S. capital markets to restructure PDVSA’s foreign debt or even dealing in certain specific issues of Venezuela and PDVSA debt bonds.
Experts in Caracas LAHT has been talking to, including Jose Toro Hardy, Rafael Quiroz Serrano and others, all point in the same direction: After the latest sanctions Maduro will have to rely more and more on financial support from China and Russia. Oil production, which is already half of what it was in 1999, will most certainly suffer as a result of the sanctions, dropping even further from its present record low of less than 2 million barrels a day, output levels unheard of since at least the 1976 nationalization.Click Here To See the US Embassy in Caracas Alert