The United States has suspended passenger and cargo flights to and from Venezuela on Thursday, evoking security reasons, a measure added to the battery of sanctions against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.
The Department of Transportation has said in a statement that the order was issued in agreement with the Departments of State and Internal Security.
«Where is, Mr. (Donald) Trump, the freedom that you proclaim? They make this decision out of hatred, revenge, spite, and harm to the common citizen, especially the middle class, "Maduro reacted in a televised address.
The president added that Washington acts in such a way to see that "its coup policy is failing."
"They are trying to kill the people of Venezuela by economic deprivation of international trade, food, medicine, even travel," the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, Samuel Moncada, has previously denounced at a press conference.
US federal law authorizes the government to suspend the rights of domestic and foreign airlines to provide services when it considers that in the destination country there are conditions that threaten the safety of passengers, crew and aircraft.
The suspension is added to the notification issued on May 1 by the Federal Aviation Administration, that regulates civil flights in the United States, by which most of the operators and pilots of certified aircraft in that country are prohibited from flying less than 26,000 feet (7,900 meters) over the territory of Venezuela, also for security reasons.
Further, On April 9, the State Department placed the country at the maximum alert level ("Do not travel") "Due to crimes, riots, deficient health services, kidnappings and arbitrary arrests and detentions of US citizens."
The American airline American Airlines He had already decided at the end of March to suspend his flights to and from the South American nation indefinitely for security reasons.
Due to a debt of the Venezuelan State valued at 3.800 million dollars, several airlines also stopped operating in the country in recent years.
United Airlines, Delta and Colombian Avianca suspended activities in 2017; the German Lufthansa and the American Dynamic, in 2016; and Air Canada, Aeroméxico, Alitalia, Tiara and Gol, between 2014 and 2015.
The measure announced on Wednesday will have a limited impact in the transport of passengers – with few direct flights between both countries – and higher in the cargo, according to the Venezuelan Airlines Association (Alav).
«The fundamental impact is that we lose a connection in direct flight to Miami, which was the only city served, "Humberto Figuera, president of Alav, told AFP about the route operated by the Venezuelan company Avior with a daily flight.
But the consequences "will be important in the transport of cargo because in this way entered all the delicate merchandise and parts and pieces for the industry. Now they will enter, but they will have to triangulate for an island in the Caribbean, Central America or South America, "Figuera explained. This would raise costs.
The suspension of flights adds to a series of sanctions by Washington to asphyxiate Maduro's government in the struggle for power between him and the opposition Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president of Venezuela for fifty countries with the United States at the head .
On April 28, a embargo on Venezuelan oil, source of 96% of the income of the country with the largest reserve of crude, but plunged into the worst socio-economic crisis in its recent history.
"The prohibition of direct flights between Venezuela and the United States has a direct impact on Venezuelans not sanctioned and with an American visa and on the cost of airlift of the population to compensate for the shortage and internal inflation," economist Luis commented on Twitter. Vicente León
The prohibition of direct flights between Vzla and the USA has a direct impact on Venezuelans who have not been sanctioned and who have an American visa and on the air shipping costs of the population to compensate for the shortage and internal inflation. I do not find the theoretical logic that sustains it.
– Luis Vicente Leon (@luisvicenteleon) May 15, 2019
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