For any Canadian travellers looking for adventure in parts unknown, it is always a good idea to check in with our government's travel advisory board to make sure that your desired destination is safe. Last night, the Canadian government updated their travel advisory for Venezuela due to an ongoing crisis within the country. Canadians are now being urged to avoid all travel there.
According to the warnings listed by the travel advisory, a state of emergency has been in effect for Venezuela as far back as January of 2016. A humanitarian crisis has engulfed the nation; hundreds of thousands of residents are fleeing to the Colombian border in hopes of receiving aid.
However, acting Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro has ordered troops not to allow the aid to pass through the border. Maduro, a former bus driver with no previous connection the military, has the allegiance of almost 17,000 soldiers which has greatly contributed to his hold over the embattled nation.
Assistance for those hit hardest by the crisis is being provided by oppositional leader Juan Guaidó, who last month declared himself the interim president of the country.
Guaidó is currently being backed by over 40 countries, including the United States and most of Europe; Maduro holds only the support of Russia and China. The long list of government-issued warnings for Venezuela includes violent crime, exposure to the Zika virus and a hurricane season.
"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," the advisory reads.
Any travellers still mulling over a visit to Venezuela should know that they will be taking their lives In their own hands and putting themselves at significant risk.
For those looking more information on the risks involved with travelling to Venezuela, you can review the details on the travel advisory here.