Opposition leaders dragged from their homes in the dead of night. Phony vote totals. Violence and bloodshed in the streets. Venezuela is on the brink of an all-out civil war, as the financial, humanitatian, and constitutional crisis in the country gets worse by the day.
Now, Delta Air Lines has announced that it will suspend all flights to Venezuela starting in September. At the same time, Colombian carrier Avianca announced that it would immediately stop all service to Venezuela. And according to Fox News, some of the largest international carriers have already stopped flights to Venzuela, including United, Lufthansa, Aeromexico, and Air Canada.
In the United States, there are more than 19,000 airports, heliports, and other aircraft landing zones, as well as nearly 100 international airports offering service to foreign countries. But with Delta and United both refusing to fly to Venezuela, it will soon become virtually impossible for Americans to visit the South American nation.
On Thursday, July 27, the U.S. State Department ordered all family members of U.S. embassy staff in Caracas to return home. The situation is so dire that embassy staff were also offered the ability to leave. An expanded travel warning states that the decision was made “due to social unrest, violent crime and pervasive food and medicine shortages.”
However, the freeze on airline service may also prevent some Venezuelans from leaving the country. As food and medicine shortages make daily life a constant struggle, many residents of Venezuela are fleeing to nearby Colombia for basic medical care.
These decisions are just the latest sign that the ongoing crisis in Venezuela is getting worse, not better.
“Avianca cancelling service to Caracas shows the increasing isolation Venezuela is facing,” said Jason Marczak, the director of the Latin America Economic Growth Initiative at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, to Fox News. “The situation in Venezuela is one of the greatest tragedies, if not the greatest tragedy, in our hemisphere over the last 20 years.”