although it says he did not meet requirements
HAVANA TIMES — The United States government said today that after an “extraordinary effort,” it granted last night the authorization of the plane carrying Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to fly over a portion of its airspace, despite claiming that Caracas failed to meet the requirements for this type of permit.
“The United States has given permission to the Venezuelan authorities to enter U.S. airspace,” State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told dpa news.
Earlier on Thursday, Maduro publicly denounced the US refusal to allow his plane to fly over the airspace of Puerto Rico on his flight to China, but did not explain the reasons behind the refusal of flyover permission .
Harf said the initial denial was do to a breach of procedure in such cases by the Venezuelan government.
According to the spokesman , the government of Venezuela presented the request for his plane to enter US air space with only one day’s notice, when “flight permits for diplomats need to be presented with three days notice.”
She added, that the apparatus for which permission was sought was not a presidential plane , another requirement for applications for such diplomatic flights.
However, “although the application was not properly submitted , US officials worked with Venezuelan embassy officials to resolve this issue,” Harf said today .
“We advised Venezuela on the correct way to get the permission and last night our authorities notified them that the permit had been granted,” said the spokeswoman .
Maduro’s complaint on Thursday brought to mind the incident suffered by another president in the region, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, last July, when on a return flight from Moscow his aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Vienna because several European countries refused permission to cross their airspace.
Morales was among the first leaders to express his “solidarity” with Maduro on Thursday and accused the Obama administration of failing to meet at least four international norms by refusing airspace to his Venezuelan counterpart.
Maduro left Friday morning for a 12-day visit to China. He did not say if he had accepted the rectification from the US government and maintained the original flight plan or had chosen an alternate route.
“I’m off to China, these are times to reap the harvest of our relationship as sister countries,” said Maduro on his Twitter account.