State Department issues updated travel warning for Venezuela ahead of Sunday vote

suprunvitaly/iStock/Thinkstock(CARACAS, Venezuela) — The U.S. State Department updated its travel warning for Americans in Venezuela on Thursday, and ordered the family of staff members evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.

The announced changes come ahead of a vote on Sunday that would establish a National Constituent Assembly. That assembly could allow President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the country’s constitution.

In its travel warming, the State Department cites “social unrest, violent crime, and pervasive food and medicine shortages.”

There is fear that the vote on Sunday could prompt protests and/or intensified violence.

State Department staff who choose to remain in Caracas will be subject to travel restrictions and a potential ban on travel after dark.

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