According to The Latin American Tribune, American Airlines, which was one of the largest foreign carriers into Venezuela with almost seven flights daily from Miami, Dallas and New York City, has announced that it is cutting its flights to virtually one day a week as the airline says that it has US$750 million in bolivars that the Venezuelan government has refused to exchange for US dollars.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents American and all scheduled air service carriers, reports that all airlines combined have almost $4 billion in bolivars trapped in Venezuela, some of which have not been converted to dollars since 2012.
COMMENT: To make it intimately clear, Venezuela today is an economic nightmare as a result of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro's failed Socialist experiment in their effort to replicate Fidel Castro's Communist debacle as a success while all other efforts have"crashed and burned."
As has often been said, "insanity is best described as repeating approaches that have failed in the past while expecting different results."
Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember when Venezuela was one of the most prosperous, economically-sound and productive nations in the Amerícas. What a pity.
Air Canada and Alitalia have discontinued all scheduled air service to Venezuela because they were unable to exchange their currency.
The only reason that American prudently chose not to end all air service to Venezuela is because President Maduro has threatened that any scheduled airliner that cancels all service will be banned from operating in the country as long as he is in power.
After fifteen years of persecuting political opponents, hiring of ideologues and expropriation of the assets of multinational companies, the country has been unable to increase oil production and the country produces less oil than it did when Hugo Chávez came to power.
As a result, there is a crisis-level shortage of dollars, which has resulted in a currency that has lost 95% of its value in the black market, the world’s highest inflation rate at 60% and widespread shortages of everything from bread to water to toilet paper to coffins.
As we speak, Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the world, rampant crime and an inept government that has killed 46 people thus far in ongoing protests. Additionally, many opposition leaders have been jailed without ever being charged.