The US government has ordered a travel ban on all commercial passenger and cargo flights to Venezuela due to the ongoing civil unrest in the South American country. Currently, the ban does not have an end date.
Several international airlines including American, United, Delta, Air Canada, Lufthansa, and AeroMexico had suspended flights to the country citing the same reason much before the ban was in place, reports Reuters. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an official statement saying, “Conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew travelling to or from that country.”
Earlier this year, the US government had also instructed all non-essential U.S. Embassy employees in Venezuela to exit the country. The DHS statement also said, “If and when the conditions in Venezuela change, and if in the public interest, the Secretaries will revisit this determination. Until then, the flight suspension will remain in effect indefinitely.”
Impact of Government Ban on Venezuela
This new ban will put severe economic pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Since Maduro was elected in 2018, the Trump administration has already put oil, defence and security sanctions on the country. The travel ban could make matters worse for the conflict-ridden country.
Tensions in Venezuela have been increasing because of a range of issues. These include rising inflation and shortage of food and medicine. Citizens of Venezuela have taken to the streets in protest; which has led to violent clashes involving the military and the police.
Maduro has been facing a huge amount of international pressure to step down from his post, but he continues to fight to stay in power. Some months ago, Juan Guaido, the National Assembly president in Venezuela, declared himself the country’s leader; and is currently recognized as the interim president by at least 50 nations, including the U.S.