Is the Germany embassy in Venezuela telling people to prepare for civil unrest?
The Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela published an official declaration earlier this month to its citizens in the South American country.
The press have described the declaration as either “alarming” or “suspicious”
Published on February 5th, the declaration is written and signed by the Chargé d’Affaires at the German Embassy, Dr. Jörg Polster. It began to make the rounds on social media networks over the last two days.
In the statement, German diplomat Polster informs readers that the embassy is extremely “worried” about the current situation in the country and advises German residents to take a number of “precautions in the face of the crisis”.
These precautions include having “lots of provisions” such as enough food and drinking water to last “in our opinion, for 2 weeks”, as well as cash, medicine, batteries, candles, and copies of important documents.
“We shouldn’t take it for granted that we will have access to electricity or internet services. The validity of passports and identity documents should be verified regularly,” continues the text.
A 24 hour emergency phone line and link to an information e-mailing list are also given in the statement, which recommends that members of the German community have the embassy’s phone number “at hand at all times”.
“In terms of the precautions to take in the face of the current crisis, it’s important to add that the embassy is constantly monitoring the situation and will publish information about the development of events when necessary,” it states.
Many news outlets in the country have described the statement as “alarming” whilst others have labelled it “suspicious”.
The socialist administration of Nicolas Maduro is currently facing a stepped up economic war which is causing scarcities of basic goods, as well as increased calls by the political opposition for his government to step down. Many observers have likened the situation to pre-coup 1973 Chile, whilst government supporters have accused the US of plotting to facilitate a coup alongside the rightwing opposition.
“What development are they waiting for? Is it possible that they know something more than they are letting on?” stated an article on the pro-government website, Laiguana in reaction to the declaration.
Despite the furore, the German embassy has denied that it meant to cause alarm by the declaration and unusual advice.