News & Politics

THAT'S RICH: Venezuela Issues Travel Warning Against 'Violent' USA

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he speaks during a march, at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, April 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

On Monday night, in the wake of the two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the crime-ravaged country of Venezuela and its authoritarian socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, issued a travel advisory warning Venezuelans about the dangers of the United States. As if Venezuelans were not fleeing the country in droves to escape poverty and injustice, Maduro warned them that the United States is dangerous.

“We warn Venezuelans, living in or aiming to travel to the U.S., to be extra careful or to postpone their travel, given the recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes,” Maduro tweeted Monday night, posting a communique.

Venezuela slammed the U.S. for the “inexcusable, indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population, encouraged by the federal government.”

Implicitly slamming President Donald Trump, the foreign ministry added, “These increasing acts of violence have found an echo and support in the conversations and actions impregnated by racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed by the supremacist elite who holds political power in Washington.”

This is extremely rich considering Venezuela’s recent history under socialism. Venezuelans have suffered through toilet paper shortages, bread shortages with government seizures of bakeries, the starvation of animals in zoos due to food shortages, a collapse of 80 percent of the internet this past March, and more. Unarmed protesters are being executed by Maduro’s guards.

Gallup’s 2018 survey ranked Venezuela the most dangerous country in the world for the second straight year. In April, the U.S. State Department gave Venezuela its highest travel advisory, Level 4: Do Not Travel.

“Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens,” the State Department warned.

Venezuela is so bad that people are fleeing in droves, destabilizing neighboring countries. According to the U.N., an estimated 1.5 million people have fled the country. Then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley noted that these migrants are “straining state resources in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and elsewhere.” Colombia has taken in more than 600,000 migrants, and the U.S. is providing tens of millions in funding for displaced Venezuelans in Colombia.

At least 52 countries have recognized the insurgent self-declared interim president, Juan Guaidó, in opposition to Maduro.

Yet it appears the socialist in Caracas has adopted the rhetoric of Democrats in the U.S. to slam President Donald Trump as a white supremacist. After all, he endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for president in 2016. Sanders’ ally in the Senate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), also a 2020 candidate, accused Trump of supporting white supremacy. Sanders condemned his “racist” remarks, suggesting they were to blame for the mass shootings this past weekend.

Venezuela was not the only country to hypocritically warn against the dangers of the United States. Uruguay’s Office of Foreign Ministry also issued an advisory, warning citizens to “take precaution amid the growing indiscriminatory violence, specifically hate crimes including racism and discrimination” in the U.S.

Uruguay also noted the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population” and the “impossibility of authorities to prevent these situations.” The country singled out the cities of Detroit, Baltimore, and Albuquerque, noting that they were listed among the 20 most dangerous cities in the world according to the CEOWORLD Magazine 2019 index.

Readers should be able to guess the number one most dangerous city in the world, according to the index. It is surely a strange coincidence that it happens to be Nicolás Maduro’s capital city.

While Uruguay is nowhere near as dangerous as Venezuela, it is no safe harbor, either. The State Department lists Uruguay as Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. “Violent crimes, such as homicides, armed robberies, carjacking and thefts have increased throughout the country and occur in urban areas frequented by U.S. government personnel, day and night,” the State Department reported.

Sure, Uruguay’s no picnic, Venezuela’s capital is the most dangerous city in the world, and the socialist Maduro is running his country into the ground, but the real danger is U.S. gun violence (which kills far fewer people than car accidents and suicide). Venezuelans desperately working day and night to scrape by and keep themselves alive amid horrific poverty and government corruption should be happy to be safe from the scourge of American mass shootings. It’s not like they have anything else to worry about.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.