HAVANA TIMES — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reported today that the US government denied him permission to fly over the airspace of Puerto Rico in his flight tomorrow to China, where he will carry out an official visit, reports dpa news.
As a result, Maduro said he will change the route. The prohibition from Washington brings renewed tension to the rocky relationship between the two governments.
“I have ordered the planners to map another route even if it is longer, but the United States is not going to stop me from going to China. Denying permission for a head of state to fly over the airspace of a country they have colonized is a serious offense”, said Maduro at a rally in Caracas.
Maduro did not explain the reasons given for the US refusal. He is planning a 12-day visit to China, during which he will meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
The Venezuelan present also reported that the US government is also “conditioning” the assistance of the Venezuelan delegation to the UN General Assembly in New York.
“They want to condition us by not granting a visa to the head of the office of the presidency, (Minister Wilmer Barrientos), but you (President Barack Obama) are required to give visas to all my team,” he said.
Maduro warned that if it is necessary to take “diplomatic measures” against the US government he will; “I’m not going to accept this action.”
In this regard, Maduro urged Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to activate the mechanisms for his likely presence at the UN General Assembly.
Shortly after Maduro’s announcement of the new tensions caused by the US refusal to grant fly over of Puerto Rican air space, Bolivian President Evo Morales gave a press conference where he called on the ALBA countries to boycott the upcoming US General Assembly Session in solidarity with Venezuela.
Morales accused the US of non-compliance with four international norms by prohibiting Maduro to fly over Puerto Rico en route to China, reported dpa.