Juan Guaido receives flowers from a supporter during a meeting with local leaders in Caracas on Thursday. Agence France-Presse
Washington: American Airlines Group Inc pilots should not fly to Venezuela, an influential pilots union said on Friday, following a travel advisory issued by the US State Department this week.
The department cited civil unrest, poor health and arbitrary arrest and detention of US citizens in Venezuela for issuing the advisory on March 12.
“Do not accept any trips to Venezuela,” the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement.
A number of airlines have stopped their flights to the country because of security concerns and disputes over money they say the government owes them. United Airlines ended its flights to Venezuela in 2017.
Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was not legitimate.
The move has put Venezuela at the heart of a geopolitical tussle, with the United States leading most Western nations in recognising Guaido as the legitimate head of state.
All US diplomats left the country on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales, a supporter of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, said that European nations should support a dialogue within the country.
Morales, who is on a visit to Greece, said meddling in the domestic affairs of another country never bodes well.
“History has taught that there have been many interventions from the outside, such as the case of Libya and Iraq, and they never offered a solution,” Morales said in translated comments after meeting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
“On the contrary it abolished democracy,” he said. Morales is one of a few Latin American leaders to support the embattled Maduro, whose country has been reeling from a humanitarian crisis.
“The only solution .. is dialogue, and that is what the European countries should support,” he said. “The opposition of Venezuela should sit at the same table with the official authorities of this country for dialogue and find a solution.”
Venezuela plunged into a deep political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Maduro’s 2018 re-election was not legitimate.