While America is theatrically debating whether or not Baltimore is a "rodent-infested mess", the rest of the world has already made up its mind about America's inner city slums.
In a travel advisory published on Monday, the Uruguay foreign ministry warned its citizens traveling to the United States after the two mass shootings over the weekend to avoid cities such as Detroit, Baltimore and Albuquerque, which it said are among the 20 most dangerous in the world, citing the Ceoworld Magazine 2019 index.
Travelers were urged to take precautions "in the face of growing indiscriminate violence, mostly for hate crimes, including racism and discrimination, which cost the lives of more than 250 people in the first seven months of this year," it said in the release also posted on President Tabare Vazquez's website; a similar warning would instantly be slammed as racist if it appeared anywhere in the US.
Uruguay also warned that "Ggven the impossibility of the authorities to prevent these situations, due among other factors, to the indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population, it is especially advisable to avoid places where large concentrations of people occur, such as theme parks, shopping centers, arts festivals, religious activities, food fairs and cultural or sporting events. In particular, it is recommended not to take minors to these places.”
Meanwhile in Venezuela, which is now the target of a full-on blockade by the US, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza similarly advised citizens to “take extreme precautions or postpone their travels in the face of the proliferation of acts of violence and hate crimes.”
Demonstrating a biting sarcasm, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry also cited El Paso and Dayton in a statement.
“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 that hold political power in Washington,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Venezuela took particular delight in mocking America's social de-evolution: the Trump administration does not recognize the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro as legitimate. It has backed National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the rightful leader of the South American country.
In addition to Detroit, Baltimore and Albuquerque, which ranked 317 through 319 in the list of 334 cities (where ironically Caracas was ranked most dangerous), Venezuela added Atlanta, Buffalo, Cleveland, Memphis, Oakland, St. Louis, Birmingham, Ala., and Stockton, Calif.
For those suspecting there was more here than meets the eye, you are right: the U.S. State Department had issued its own travel advisory for Uruguay on Aug. 2 due to an increase in violent crime, including homicides, armed robberies and carjacking. On Friday it had raised its travel advisory for Uruguay from Level 1 (Exercise normal precautions) to Level 2 (Exercise increased caution) “due to crime.” The highest U.S. travel advisory is Level 4: Do not travel.