Venezuela on Monday became the second South American country to issue a U.S. travel warning for its citizens following the deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend.
“We warn Venezuelans, living in or aiming to travel to the U.S., to be extra careful or to postpone their travel, given the recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes,” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro tweeted Monday.
RT @jaarreaza: COMMUNIQUÉ | We warn Venezuelans, living in or aiming to travel to the U.S., to be extra careful or to postpone their travel, given the recent proliferation of violent acts and hate crimes. pic.twitter.com/oxiIUGF9qY— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) August 5, 2019
Maduro tweeted the warning shortly before the White House announced that President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE signed an executive order expanding sanctions against Venezuela into a full economic embargo, a move that included freezing all assets of Maduro’s government.
“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,” the country’s foreign ministry wrote in a statement. “This year alone, these actions have cost the lives of more than 250 people.”
The "indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population" and the "impossibility of authorities to prevent these situations" were cited as reasons why travelers should avoid certain areas, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
That same day, Uruguay's government issued a travel advisory, telling its citizens to exercise extreme caution “against growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes ... which cost more than 250 people their lives in the first seven months of the year."
The warnings came after a gunman opened fire at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart after allegedly writing a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that described fears of a Latino “invasion.” The shooting, which killed more than 20 people, is being investigated as a hate crime.
Less than 24 hours later, at least nine people were killed and more than two dozen were injured in a Dayton, Ohio, shooting.