United States suspends flights to and from Venezuela


The US suspended all flights to Venezuela on Wednesday amid political turmoil and violence in the South American country.

American Airlines Group Inc, previously the largest carrier providing service between the United States and Venezuela, in March said it was indefinitely suspending its flights to Venezuela.

Earlier this year, the State Department ordered all nonessential staff at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela to leave the country, a day after President Nicolas Maduro said he was giving diplomats 72 hours to leave.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan determined that "conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew", according to a DHS statement.

A Venezuelan government commission, headed by Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez, is now paying a visit to Norway in a bid to find possible ways for rapprochement with the opposition amid turmoil in the country, a source close to the talks said.

Venezuelan National Guard forces prevented the press from entering parliament, Wednesday, May 15.

Maduro has been fighting to stay in power in the midst of growing opposition and worldwide pressure for him to step down. The assembly's vice president, Edgar Zambrano, was arrested May 8. He is among 14 lawmakers placed under investigation for allegations of treason and other crimes since the failed rebellion.

The activists, who have ignored trespassing warnings, consider Maduro to be Venezuela's rightful leader.

Norway was among European Union countries that have not endorsed opposition leader Juan Guaido as the Venezuelan interim president.