By Andrea Romano
May 17, 2019
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The U.S. government has now issued a travel ban to Venezuela due to recent violence and unrest, Reuters reported. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued an order on Wednesday that all commercial passenger and cargo flights to the South American country have been suspended.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a DHS statement that “conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew.”

Many airlines, including American, United, Delta, Air Canada, Luthansa, and AeroMexico had halted flights to Venezuela before the ban took effect. While the country has had civil and political unrest for years, the Venezuelan government has been experiencing increasingly dangerous protests, primarily due to issues with food, power, water, and medicine shortages, Fox News reported.

On top of the travel ban, the U.S. government has ordered non-essential U.S. Embassy employees currently in Venezuela to leave the country within 72 hours.

The new ban, effective immediately, could put more economic pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Trump administration has already put oil, defense and security sanctions on the country since Maduro was elected in 2018. Only a few airlines, including Laser Airlines and Copa Airlines, still fly between the U.S. and Venezuela via layovers in other countries, Reuters reported.

The ban currently has no end date. The DHS statement 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.”

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