"Incidents of piracy off the coast of Venezuela remain a concern, and foreigners have been targeted. Attacks on foreign tourists in Venezuelan coastal waters and around Margarita Island have increased over the last several years. Recent attacks have been especially violent, including the murder of a U.S. citizen on his boat in November 2008, and the killing of a French yachter in September 2008. Previous violent attacks include the
severe beating of a U.S. citizen in 2002, the fatal shooting of an Italian citizen in January 2004, and a machete attack on a U.S. citizen in 2005. U.S. citizen yachters should note that anchoring off shore is not considered safe. Marinas, including those in Puerto la Cruz and Margarita Island (Porlamar), provide only minimal security, and U.S. citizens should exercise a heightened level of caution in Venezuelan waters. Please consult the U.S. Coast Guard website for additional information on sailing in Venezuela.
In addition to security concerns, yachters should be aware of registration and other required permits in order to anchor
in Venezuelan marinas. U.S. citizens docking in Venezuela are strongly encouraged to check with local authorities regarding the proper documentation for their vessels and themselves.
Furthermore, rules governing the sale of fuel
to foreign sailors in Venezuela vary by state. U.S. citizen yachters should inquire about specific state procedures prior to attempting to purchase fuel
in any given location."