Panama bans Venezuelan airlines for 90 days

Customers lineup outside of Copa Airlines sales offices after their flights was cancelled, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, April 6, 2018. The Venezuelan government suspended temporarily all diplomatic and economic relations with Panama in an ongoing diplomatic rift. Affecting among others the Panamanian airline COPA, one of the few that still flies to Venezuela. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

PANAMA CITY - Panama on Tuesday prohibited Venezuelan companies from operating flights to Panama, in retaliation for Venezuela's diplomatic and trade bans announced last week.

The office of President Juan Carlos Varela said the cargo and passenger flights would be banned for 90 days starting April 25. The measure affects 10 Venezuelan companies.

Last week, Venezuela banned key Panamanian businesses from operating on its territory after Panama's government put Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on a list of Venezuelan officials deemed at "high risk" for laundering money.

Venezuela's ban included businesses of Varela and Copa, one of the few airlines still operating within Venezuela.

Panama pulled its ambassador from Venezuela and asked Venezuela to recall its emissary. Panama is keeping its embassy in Caracas open with a skeleton staff.


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