The US Department of Homeland Security has suspended all flights between the country and Venezuela over security concerns.

In a statement released yesterday, the government said that “conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft and crew”. As such, all commercial and cargo flights to the South American nation have been suspended.

Venezuela is in the midst of a political crisis, with opposition leader Juan Guaido challenging Nicolas Maduro’s claim to the presidency. US president Donald Trump pledged support for Guaido earlier this year, but the country has faced tightening economic sanctions by Trump’s administration against Maduro.

Trump also included Venezuela when he introduced his latest travel ban, which aimed to prevent those with Venezuelan passports from entering the US.

According to the New York Times, two opposition representatives and government officials are reportedly meeting in Norway for informal talks aimed at encouraging negotiations.

Many airlines have ceased flying to Venezuela in recent years because of falling demand and security risks. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines suspended services in 2017, while American Airlines stopped flights between Miami and Caracas in March this year.

The ban will impact Venezuelan carriers such as Avior Airlines, the country’s largest private carrier.

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