The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States said Friday it has granted access to its airspace so Venezuela’s president can make a weekend trip to China, countering assertions from Caracas that permission was denied.

On Thursday Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro bristled with outrage at the “serious offense” of denying his plane rights to U.S. airspace over the Atlantic.

The leftist leader — successor to the late anti-U.S. firebrand Hugo Chavez — also accused the U.S. of refusing visas to some of the members of his delegation to the U.N. General Assembly opening next week in New York.

But the United States said it had in fact granted fly-over rights.

“The U.S. has granted permission to Venezuelan authorities to enter U.S. airspace,” deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in an email.

Harf said that although the request was not submitted properly, U.S. authorities worked with the Venezuelan embassy to resolve the issue.

“U.S. authorities made an extraordinary effort to work with relevant authorities to grant overflight approval in a matter of hours,” Harf said.

“As a result we were able to notify the Venezuelan authorities last night that permission was granted.”

Harf said the request for diplomatic clearance for the aircraft — which she said was not a state aircraft as required for such clearance — to enter the airspace with just a day’s notice.

“Diplomatic flight clearances are required to be made with three days advance notice,” she said.

“We advised Venezuela on the correct way to get the clearance and notified their authorities last night that permission was granted,” she said.

Photo Credit: AFP

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Jessica Cisneros

It’s a race that has some Democratic voters scratching their heads: a young, progressive primary challenger versus a pro-life, conservative Democrat who received an A-rating from the NRA. The primary race between one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Representative Henry Cuellar, and Jessica Cisneros has become a lightning rod within the Democratic Party.

Cuellar declared victory, but as of Wednesday morning, major media outlets have said the race is too close to call. He is just a couple hundred votes ahead of his Cisneros in Texas' 28th Congressional District primary. When neither candidate won a majority in the March 1 primary, the two highest vote-getters faced each other in Tuesday's run-off election.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}