The United States embassy in Venezuela has once again alerted its citizens about increased security risks in the country, this time due to military exercises President Nicolás Maduro’s regime will carry out in expectation of an alleged “imperial invasion.”
The embassy released a statement informing citizens in the country that the nationwide exercise could put them in significant danger, as it included a draft of civilian participants chosen for weapons training.
“US citizens should be aware that these exercises may include civilians openly carrying firearms,” an embassy statement said.
Officials at the embassy recommended that US citizens residing in Venezuela take certain precautions to ensure their safety.
“US citizens in all parts of Venezuela are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety,” officials said.
The statement also said people should specifically avoid the states of Anzoátegui, Sucre and Monagas, where the majority of exercises are expected to take place.
Updated security warning for US Citizens: Nationwide Military Exercises Scheduled for August 26-27. More info: https://t.co/7lfh2ZKDUs
— US Embassy, VE (@usembassyve) August 24, 2017
The military drills come in response to comments made by US President Donald Trump, who said military intervention by the United States is not off the table when it comes to reinstating democracy in Venezuela.
This is not the first time the US government has alerted its citizens of increased security risks in Venezuela. The previous warning came during the appointment of the Chavista Constituent Assembly.
On July 24, the United States government advised its citizens living in Venezuela to prepare for the event with water and food, and to avoid danger by staying at home whenever possible.