Monday,  August 26, 2019  4:03 am

Advice to Canadians: Avoid all travel to Venezuela

Advice to Canadians: Avoid all travel to Venezuela
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

The Government of Canada has posted a travel advisory on its website, urging Canadians to avoid all travel to Venezuela due to 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.

In a statement posted on its website, the Canadian government says:

"If you decide to travel to Venezuela despite this advisory, seek help from a reputable tour company, family or friend who has a good understanding of the current situation. Stay in accommodations with good security."

What happened?

A nationwide state of emergency has been in effect since Jan. 15, 2016. The new travel advisory is the highest warning the Government of Canada can issue against a country: "exercise normal security precautions", "exercise a high degree of caution", "avoid non-essential travel", and "avoid all travel".

Crime is prominent in the country. Caracas, Venezuela, has the second highest murder rate in the world. The  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports that 56.33 murders for every 100,000 people took place in the country back in 2016 (the time the state of emergency went into effect), and the final murder count was reported as 17,778.

The Government of Canada states that the following are examples of the levels of violence prevalent in Venezuela:

  • Armed robbery, particularly in the capital city of Caracas
  • Home invasion
  • Carjacking
  • Kidnapping for ransom

Violence against locals and visitors alike can occur in both urban and rural areas, including in those popular with tourists, like the city of Caracas.

Air Canada terminated its flights into Caracas back in 2014.

For more information, click here.

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