The Department of Homeland Security said it decided to immediately suspend all commercial and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela. The country’s political crisis is feared threatening the safety of passengers, aircraft and crew. This occurred when many millions of Venezuelans who rely on donations or remittances from relatives were using airline courier services from Miami to obtain scarce medication, spare parts and food. “This will be a catastrophe for a lot of people,” said Feliciano Reyna, head of the health nonprofit Acción Solidaria, which receives medical donations from the United States.
Previously, the United States has banned oil trade with Venezuela, which wiped out the bulk of goods exchange between the two countries. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines already stopped flying to the country in 2017, and American Airlines suspended its daily flights from Caracas to Miami in March. The big carriers were replaced by Venezuelan airlines and small charter companies but all direct flights from Caracas to Miami were canceled Wednesday. The flights will remain halted indefinitely.