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Venezuela Limits Flights by US Carriers

Venezuela's government has said it will cut the number of airline flights by U.S. carriers starting March 1.

Venezuela's National Institute of Civil Aviation (El Instituto Nacional de Aeronautica Civil) says the cuts affect both passenger and cargo flights by U.S. carriers to and from Venezuela.

The statement said the U.S. has not complied with bilateral aviation accords. The U.S. put restrictions on flights from Venezuela 10 years ago because of security concerns. Caracas has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get those limits removed.

Daily flights between the U.S. and Caracas by Continental Airlines and Delta Airlines would end, and flights by American Airlines would be reduced.

U.S. airlines representatives are set to meet with Venezuelan authorities to discuss the measure.

The issue comes just weeks after Washington and Caracas expelled each others diplomats. Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela have grown increasingly strained since Hugo Chavez became president of the South American nation in 1999.