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USA suspends all commercial flights to Venezuela, citing unrest

16 May 2019

Fox News Flash top headlines for May 15 are here.

Homeland Security announced Wednesday it was suspending flights between the USA and Venezuela, saying the security situation has deteriorated so badly that the safety of passengers and crew can not be guaranteed. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo approved the suspension and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao implemented it.

Many worldwide flights to Venezuela have already stopped service to the country due to the safety concerns and disputes with the country's embattled leader Nicolas Maduro.

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There are now no direct commercial flights from the USA to Venezuela. American Airlines was the last to halt its operations in March after the State Department warned travelers to stay away from the country.

The US Federal Aviation Authority had previously banned US operators from carrying out low flights over Venezuela's airspace.

It applies to the rights of both USA and foreign air carriers and both passenger and cargo flights.

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The move was announced by the US Department of Transportation on Wednesday.

More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years.

The National Assembly has come under increasing pressure from Maduro since the opposition appealed in vain for a military uprising April 30. National Assembly president Juan Guaido declared himself the country's leader some months ago and is recognized as the interim president by at least 50 nations, including the U.S. The measure reflected the increasingly sour relationship between the Venezuelan government and the USA, which is leading a campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

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USA suspends all commercial flights to Venezuela, citing unrest