The U.S. State Department reported that Nicholás Maduro’s regime rejected proposals made for the exit, on humanitarian grounds, of hundreds of Americans held in Venezuela.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, “We have made offers in the past that would allow U.S. citizens to leave, but all were rejected by Maduro and his cronies,” according to VOA on Aug. 20.
The Venezuelan foreign minister offered to repatriate U.S. citizens on the state-owned Conviasa airline. However, it is sanctioned and not allowed to enter the territory.
“I have more than 800 people who have asked for my support to help them leave the country,” said Chargé d’ Affaires, for the Venezuela Affairs Unit of the Department of State James Story last week, adding that Americans were being held hostage by the Maduro government.
Story said that since March, he has offered to pay for humanitarian flights to Mexico, but that Maduro’s dictatorial regime rejected his proposal.
According to his reports, some Americans were on a list of people who would not be allowed to leave the Latin American country, which Story called kidnapping.
The U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, which operates from Bogotá, Colombia, informed Americans and legal residents held in Venezuela to prepare for an indefinite stay.
“U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) in Venezuela should remain prepared for an indefinite stay in Venezuela,” the statement said.
It also stated, “Venezuelan Civil Aviation Authority (INAC) restrictions on international and domestic commercial flights in Venezuelan airspace have been extended to September 12, 2020.”
The United States does not recognize Nicolás Maduro or his regime as the legitimate rulers of the country and that they are a threat to the region.
“Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro, aided by allies including Cuba, Russia, China, and Iran, continues to serve as a threat to the democratic freedom in neighboring nations in South America,” warned U.S. Southern Command Commander Admiral Craig Faller, according to the Defense Department, on Aug. 13.
Millions of Venezuelans, plagued by hunger and violence, have been forced to migrate by foot to other Latin American countries, as the nation sinks into a more profound crisis.