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US suspends flights to Venezuela

IANS  |  Washington 

The US Department of has announced the "immediate suspension" of commercial passenger and cargo flights between the US and

"of determined that conditions in threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew," news quoted the department as saying on Wednesday.

US assented to the suspension of flights based on McAleenan's finding, while implementation of the measure is in the hands of the

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

The suspension will remain in effect until US officials deem that conditions in Venezuela have changed sufficiently to accommodate the resumption of flights, Homeland Security said.

American Airlines, the last providing scheduled service to and from Venezuela, suspended flights indefinitely on March 28.

Texas-based had operated routes from to and

United and halted service to Venezuela in 2017.

Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with the US in January, after recognized Juan Guaido, of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as interim of the

The Venezuelan opposition, backed by the US and some Latin American governments, says that the May 2018 re-election of leftist was illegitimate.

The US imposed sanctions on Venezuela in 2015, when was President, but sharply escalated the measures after taking office in January 2017.

More than 50 other countries have joined the US in recognizing Guaido, who was known to fewer than 20 percent of Venezuelans before he proclaimed himself acting

Russia, China, and are among the upwards of 120 nations that continue to acknowledge Maduro as Venezuela's

Guaido has repeatedly called on the Venezuelan armed forces to rise up against Maduro, most recently on April 30, when the went to a airbase with several dozen military defectors.

The uprising fizzled within hours.

Last weekend, Guaido said he had instructed his in to formally ask the for "cooperation" in ousting Maduro.

The says that "all options are on the table" in the standoff with the Maduro



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 05:54 IST