The first shipment of humanitarian assistance from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Venezuela on Tuesday, April 16. The shipment contained medical supplies, electricity generators, and medicine. Meanwhile, on April 13, President Nicolás Maduro called for the expansion of his civilian militia by one million members and urged the alleged existing two million members to focus on agricultural needs.
Heightened political tensions are likely to persist over the coming weeks. Additional pro- and anti-government protests are to be expected and associated clashes between rival protesters, as well as between anti-government protesters and security forces, cannot be ruled out.
Venezuela is experiencing an ongoing crisis spurred by President Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10 following last year's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others, have since recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim head of state.
The recent shipment of aid follows a deal that President Maduro reached with the Red Cross on April 10 to deliver aid to the country. The president has previously denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and has blocked the delivery of foreign aid from other countries. Late former president Hugo Chavez created the civilian militia in 2008, which reports directly to the presidency and is intended to complement the armed forces.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by their home governments, keep battery-operated devices fully charged whenever possible due to periodic power outages, remain vigilant for criminal behavior and avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, refrain from discussing political topics in public or on social media, and avoid all public demonstrations due to the risk of violence and arrest. In addition, individuals are advised to be cautious when driving or crossing streets if traffic signals are not functional.
The security situation in Venezuela remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel
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