Venezuela’s vice minister of anti-blockade policies, William Castillo, has rejected the idea that the sanctions imposed by the United States on commercial flights bounding to and from Venezuela were lifted.
“No sanctions have been lifted against Venezuela’s aeronautical sector,” Castillo announced via social media this Thursday, June 29. “Shortly, the Venezuelan Anti-Blockade Observatory will update information regarding unilateral coercive measures against the aeronautical sector.”
No han sido levantadas sanciones al sector aeronáutico de Venezuela. En breve el Observatorio Venezolano Antibloqueo actualizará información respecto a MCU contra el sector aeronáutico. https://t.co/AvX95lK0T5 pic.twitter.com/7nMlclocoG
— William Castillo Bollé (@planwac) June 29, 2023
According to the observatory’s report, “the cancelation of NOTAM C0013/19 only implies that US aircraft can fly through the airspace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at altitudes below 26,000 feet, following international regulations, not the restrictions established in the aforementioned US note,” in reference to the banning US and Venezuelan commercial airlines from flying both into and out of Venezuela.
In another post, Castillo published a complete report—carried out by the Venezuelan Anti-Blockade Observatory—regarding the update of illegal sanctions imposed by the US against Venezuelan aviation.
Below, you can read the most important fragments of the report:
Media outlets have reported on the alleged lifting of the ban on US commercial flights to Venezuela, through the cancellation of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notice NOTAM C0013/19 issued on May 1, 2019.
This decision has been erroneously interpreted as a measure that would allow the resumption of direct flights between the US and Venezuela. The Venezuelan Anti-Blockade Observatory updates conditions of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US on the country’s aviation.
On June 2, 2023, the FAA reported the notice NOTAM A0008/23 canceling NOTAM C0013/19 dated May 01, 2019.
According to international media, the US National Security Council reported that the FAA’s cancellation of NOTAM C0013/19 only allows safe diversions to Venezuelan airspace by US civilian operators in the event of hazardous weather conditions, which does not include the resumption of commercial flights between the two countries.
The cancellation of NOTAM C0013/19 only acknowledges that US aircraft may fly through the airspace of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela at altitudes below 26,000 feet, following international regulations, and dpes not lift restrictions established in the aforementioned US note.
The publication by Castillo is in response to information provided by TeleSur journalist Madelein García and local news outlet La Tabla early this week.
“The US aviation authorities lifted the restriction on commercial flights to Venezuela that was imposed by the Trump administration in 2019,” García posted on her Twitter account on Wednesday. “Since Venezuela is not dangerous, they removed the NOTAM. This opens the way to re-establish flights in the future.”
The Telesur journalist did note the fact that this was unofficial information. Her publication on social media platforms was accompanied by a series of documents, among which is an alleged communication from the Venezuelan National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC).
Ya #Venezuela no es peligrosa, eliminaron el NOTAM.
Esto abre el camino para restablecer, en un futuro los vuelos. pic.twitter.com/ynvELJUeA9
— Madelein Garcia (@madeleintlSUR) June 27, 2023
That communication reports that INAC received a communication identified as “NOTAM de cancelación A0008/23,” dated June 2. However, it was simply informed that the ban on flight operations in Venezuelan territory and airspace below 26,000 feet was lifted, which “does not alter” the status of “the prohibition on US and foreign operators from carrying out activities to and from Venezuela,” according to the Anti-Blockade Observatory’s report.
The political decision taken by the Trump administration in the second quarter of 2019 affected commercial flight operations between both countries, and took Venezuelan and foreign airlines from flight search engines services like Kayak or TripAdvisor, thus increasing the difficulty for the normal communication between nationals of both countries to occur.
(Últimas Noticias) by Ariadna Eljuri and Odry Farnetano, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune