Residents in Zulia state are reportedly protesting as of Monday, May 27, to denounce recurrent power outages affecting the state since Friday, May 24, some of which have lasted up to 30 hours, leading to transportation and commercial disruptions. Related protests erupted on May 26 in the state capital Maracaibo. Further protests are possible over the coming days. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites.
Recurrent power outages have affected Venezuela since late March, which have caused disruptions to transportation, water distribution systems, and telecommunications services, notably in the capital Caracas. The government had previously claimed outages were caused by acts of "sabotage" carried out by the US; however, previous outages that had been blamed on attacks were later attributed to infrastructural deficiencies.
Venezuela is experiencing an ongoing crisis spurred by President Nicolás 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.
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, 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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