U.S. Cleared Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s Flight

The U.S. on 19 September 2013 approved a flight plan for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to fly over Puerto Rico on his way to China.

Created On: Sep 21, 2013 14:03 IST

The U.S. on 19 September 2013 approved a flight plan for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to fly over Puerto Rico on his way to China.

A last-minute authorisation was issued late on 19 September 2013 for the request lodged a day earlier, rather than the three days' notice required. Earlier, Venezuela Government accused the U.S. Government of denying permission for Nicolas Maduro’s jet to fly through its airspace.

Diplomatic Strains

The US also stated the approval was made more complicated by the fact the Nicolas Maduro's flight was not on a state plane, which required further diplomatic clearance.

Venezuela's relations with the US have been often been strained, both under Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez and since his own election in April 2013.

Nicolas Maduro, who has had a rocky relationship with the U.S. since winning an election in April 2013 triggered by the death of President Hugo Chavez, also stated that US authorities had barred his plane from travelling over the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, a US territory, on his way to China.

In July 2013 Venezuela announced that it had ended steps towards restoring diplomatic ties with the US, after a top American diplomat referred to a crackdown on civil society in Venezuela.

Washington had also angered Caracas by backing the Venezuelan opposition's demand for a full recount of 2013 April's presidential election which was narrowly won by Nicolas Maduro.

The two countries last had ambassadors in each other's capitals in 2010.

Venezuela at a glance


Venezuela, a South American Country has some of the world's largest proven oil deposits as well as huge quantities of coal, iron ore, bauxite and gold.

Politics: President Hugo Chavez died in March 2013. He led a self-styled socialist revolution but polarised domestic opinion.

Economy: Venezuela is a major oil producer; export revenues fund huge social programmes.

International: President Hugo Chavez was a strident critic of Washington; the US portrayed him as a security threat. Critics stated he used fuel sales under preferential terms to extend political influence in the region.

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