US Halts All Flights to Venezuela

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From now on, all flights to and from Venezuela operated by both USA 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".

The United States on Wednesday suspended all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the USA and Venezuela, saying the political unrest and tensions there pose a risk to flights.

Most U.S. -based airlines already stopped flying to Venezuela because of security concerns in and around its airports.

There are now no direct commercial flights from the USA to Venezuela.

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Scores of private homes, Muslim-owned shops and businesses were destroyed, while several mosques were also vandalised. One man was stabbed to death with a sword. "Our people are still afraid to go out", he told AFP by telephone.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao issued the order to suspend flights between the United States and Venezuela.

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

The announcement by the Department of Homeland Security affected a dwindling number of flights between the two countries, since USA airlines no longer fly to Venezuela. The oil-rich nation has been beset with rising inflation and shortages of food and medicine.

Maduro has been fighting to stay in power in the midst of growing opposition and global pressure for him to step down. The measure reflected the increasingly sour relationship between the Venezuelan government and the USA, which is leading a campaign to oust President Nicolas Maduro. Maduro was elected president but the USA says it recognizes Mr. Guaido.

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