The US Department of Transportation (DOT) ordered the suspension of all commercial and cargo flights to Venezuela on Wednesday, May 15, due to prevailing unrest and violent incidents reported near airports in the country. The move follows the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) ban - issued in April - on US operators flying below 7925 m (26,000 ft) in Venezuelan airspace. Many international airlines have also suspended flights to the country amid the unrest; notably, US-based American Airlines reported in March that it was suspending flights to Venezuela until further notice.
Continuing flight disruptions (including numerous cancelations) are to be expected on routes to Venezuela over the coming weeks and months as the political crisis continues.
Venezuela is experiencing an ongoing crisis spurred by President Nicolás Maduro's inauguration to a second term as president on January 10 following last year's contested election, prompting the National Assembly to declare a national emergency. At least 50 foreign governments, including the US, Canada, and Brazil, among others, have since recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the interim head of state.
Individuals in Venezuela are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, keep battery-operated devices fully charged when possible due to periodic power outages, remain vigilant for criminal behavior and avoid conspicuous displays of wealth, refrain from discussing political topics on social media or in public, and avoid all public gatherings due to the risk of violence and arrest.
The security situation in Venezuela remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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