United States suspends all passenger, cargo flights to Venezuela

Cheryl Sanders
May 16, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo approved the suspension and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao implemented it.

In addition to U.S. airlines, a small group of Venezuelan carriers that offer service to Miami will be affected.

From now on, all flights to and from Venezuela operated by both United States air carriers and foreign companies are suspended due to conditions around the country's airports "that threaten the safety or security of passengers, aircraft, or crew".

Some Venezuelans also expressed concern about the impact of the ban on people receiving food and other provisions via cargo planes from relatives overseas to help them weather a humanitarian crisis.

"This determination is based on the ongoing political instability and increased tensions in Venezuela and associated inadvertent risk to flight operations", the statement said.

In April, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. air operators from flying below 26,000 feet in Venezuela's airspace.

The announcement by the Department of Homeland Security affected a dwindling number of flights between the two countries, since US airlines no longer fly to Venezuela.

On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro confirmed that Rodriguez was on a foreign trip with a "very important mission".

The moves are part of a four-month-old campaign against Maduro as the United States ramps up its support for opposition leader Juan Guaido. The U.S. and more than 50 other countries contend his presidency is illegitimate and recognize Guaido as the interim president.

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