By NAN Contributor
News Americas, TORONTO, Canada, Fri. May 11, 2018: The Canadian government on Wednesday updated its travel warning on the South American nation of Venezuela.
Canada is now warnings its nationals to “avoid non-essential travel to Venezuela.” The government’s updated advisory says this is “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 and water.”
Canadian authorities say the security situation in Venezuela remains unstable and could deteriorate with very little warning.
It pointed to the nationwide state of emergency has been in effect since January 15, 2016. “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,” the statement warned while advising nationals to “stay in accommodations with good security.”
Venezuela has one of the world’s highest homicide rates. Murder and other violent crimes, including armed robbery, home invasion, carjacking and kidnapping for ransom, are pervasive throughout the country, the Canadian advisory warned.
The warning comes as the country prepares for Presidential elections which are scheduled to take place on May 20, 2018 and as U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips is pressing for control of Venezuela’s key offshore operations in the Caribbean, seeking to recoup $2 billion from a decade-old dispute with the nation struggling to feed its people.
The Houston-based company, according to the Associated Press, is asking a court in the Dutch Antilles for control of facilities that Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA operates.
PDVSA relies heavily on the facilities on the islands of Curacao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius used to refine and store Venezuela’s heavy crude before shipment to the U.S., China and India, three major global markets.