Worldview Security Update – May 1, 2019
1-May-19

AMERICAS

Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 1 May 2019, labor unions in Argentina will go on strike for the second day in row as part of their protest against the Argentine government’s economic policies. The nationwide strike will affect all means of public transportation, including airport, bus, port, subway and train services. Commercial centers, banks, schools and government buildings will be closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Union members plan to hold a rally outside the Casa Rosada presidential palace in Buenos Aires. In a protest on 30 April, participants blocked roads with burning trash, vandalized local banks and clashed with police officers. Visitors in Buenos Aires on 1 May should anticipate traffic disruptions in the vicinity of the march and avoid all large gatherings as a precaution.

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): Opposition leader Juan Guaidó and President Nicolás Maduro have called on their supporters to take to the streets nationwide on 1 May 2019. While Maduro claims that the military has defeated the “coup” attempt that occurred on 30 April, Guaidó maintains that his “Operation Freedom” will continue. In clashes between Maduro’s forces and Guaidó’s supporters on 30 April, one person was killed and at least 70 others were injured. According to Foro Penal, a local organization that tracks political detentions, at least 119 people were arrested nationwide.

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): At 0025 UTC on 1 May 2019, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. air operators from flying below 26,000 ft. (8,000 m) over Venezuelan airspace until further notice, citing “increasing political instability in Venezuela and the associated inadvertent risk to flight operations.” It also advised all air operators currently in Venezuela — including private jets — to depart within 48 hours.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 1 May 2019, Tropical Cyclone Fani was located approximately 900 km (560 mi) south-southwest of Kolkata. At that time, the storm was moving northwest at 6 kph (3 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 194 kph, with gusts up to 241 kph. Fani is expected to continue to intensify as it moves toward the coast of India. Current forecasts predict that the storm will make landfall in Odisha state by 3 May and produce waves of up to 9 m (30 ft) in height. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) began evacuating residents of low-lying coastal areas, and advised tourists to leave the town of Puri, which is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site. Authorities also dispatched the country’s Coast Guard, Navy and National Disaster Response Force to assist with relief efforts.

Kazakhstan (Security threat level – 3): On 1 May 2019, several hundred protesters took to the streets in cities across Kazakhstan to demand the release of political prisoners and call for a boycott of the upcoming snap presidential election in June, which they view as illegitimate. There were reports of clashes in Nur-Sultan, where police officers blocked the marchers’ path and beat several participants. Dozens of participants were arrested nationwide, including in Almaty, Nur-Sultan and Karagandy.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): On 30 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: La Paz
  • “Event: A landslide in La Paz, in the Sopocachi Bajo / Llojeta neighborhood, has closed off the Kantutani / Costanera Avenue between the Zona Sur and downtown La Paz, as well as the Trillizo Bridges and the Yellow Teleférico line. The closures will have a major effect on transit throughout the city.”
  • Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 1 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Athens issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Expected gathering points in Athens are at or near Syntagma Square with a possible march to or by the U.S. Embassy.
  • “Event: Multiple demonstrations with up to 1,000 or more participants are expected to take place beginning at 12:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, May 1, 2019, to commemorate Labor Day and to protest labor conditions in Greece. Road closures and transportation disruptions are expected. Spontaneous/unscheduled demonstrations are also possible.
  • “U.S. government personnel have been advised to avoid the U.S. Embassy and the downtown areas of Athens through the afternoon. Some previous demonstrations turned violent and led to the destruction of property. There is a potential for tear-gas and anti-riot engagement between police and demonstrators.”
  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.