The US State Department has advised its citizens not to go to Venezuela at all, issuing its highest level-4 red warning to travelers.
In its advisory, the Department has warned Americans that they may even be detained in Venezuela and that it has little resources left in the country to rescue them.
Venezuela is prone to violent street demonstrations, said the State Department, adding that there is widespread ‘crime and civil unrest’. The move puts Venezuela in the same category as Syria and North Korea.
The advisory comes barely a week after the United States recognized the country’s opposition party leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim President.
More than 20 countries have endorsed the US decision, with China, Russia and Turkey choosing to stand by President Nicolas Maduro, who is refusing to step down despite repeated street protests across the country.
In response to the recognition, Venezuela ordered all US diplomats to leave the country, forcing America to reduce employees at its embassy in Caracas as well.
The Donald Trump administration has continued imposing numerous sanctions on the country’s businesses and political leaders as part of ratcheting up pressure on the socialist administration. For example, it has recently banned Americans from dealing with oil company PDVSA, one of the major sources of dollar currency for the Maduro government.
The Latin American country is heavily dependent on oil revenue, with the US accounting for 40% of its revenue.