Foreign governments warning citizens about traveling to US after mass shootings


A police officer walks past a makeshift memorial outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on August 5, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in El Paso which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Foreign governments have started warning their citizens to either postpone traveling to the United States or use caution when visiting.

The warnings were issued this week after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas left more than 30 people dead.

An advisory from government officials in Venezuela urges citizens to postpone any travel plans to the United States “in the face of recent violence.” Citizens are warned that, if they do visit, they should take precautions.

The government says the warning was posted in response to “acts of violence and crimes of indiscriminate hatred” in El Paso and Dayton.

The warning, roughly translated to English, reads, “These growing acts of violence have found echo and sustenance in the speeches and actions impregnated with racial discrimination and hatred against migrant populations, pronounced and executed from the supremacist elite who hold political power in Washington.”

Venezuela officials say the security of Venezuelans is at special risk because they have been declared as a threat to the United States since 2015. The U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 Travel Warning in April of this year telling citizens they should not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens.

A warning similar to Venezuela’s was issued by government officials in Uruguay. Their notice says citizens traveling to the U.S. should take precautions against “growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes, including racism and discrimination.”

The warning to Uruguayan citizens says they should specifically avoid places where large groups of people gather. The list they give includes theme parks, shopping centers, festivals, religious activities and sporting events. Loosely translated, the warning cites “the impossibility of the authorities to prevent these situations, due among other factors, to the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population” as a reason to avoid those areas, especially with minors.

The notice from Uruguay comes on the heels of the United States increasing a travel advisory for the country. The advisory went from a “Level 1: Exercise normal precautions” to a “Level 2: Exercise increased caution” on Aug. 2. The advisory says U.S. citizens should be cautious in Uruguay because “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.”

Both the Venezuelan and Uruguayan governments are urging their citizens to avoid some of the cities that are considered the most dangerous in the world, citing reports from Forbes and Ceoworld Magazine.

While Japan still lists the United States as a safe place to travel, the Japanese Consulate in Detroit issued a statement that Japanese residents “should be aware of the potential for gunfire incidents everywhere in the United States, a gun society, and continue to pay close attention to safety measures.”

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