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Peruvian companies, so scared of U.S. sanctions, are refusing to fuel planes meant to fly Venezuelans from Lima back home to Caracas.
Venezuela's government denounced on Sunday Peruvian fuel companies for refusing to provide gas for the Return to the Homeland initiative. The move left the refugees stranded in the Andean country, but still far from their native Venezuela.
Conviasa Airline, the company received a statement from the Peruvian government that read, "given the new and greater U.S. sanctions, fuel suppliers are refusing to offer fuel service to everything related to the Venezuelan state.”
The flight scheduled for Saturday would have flown some 100 Venezuelans back to their nation from Peru, where, reports say, they have been subjected to mistreatment, labor exploitation, and xenophobia.
Since entering office in 2016, the United States administration under President Donald Trump has slapped over 300 economic and political santions on the Venezuelan state, its companies and individuals from the oil-rich nation. On Aug. 5, the Trump cabinet announced a full-blown blockade on Venezuela, threatening sanctions on any U.S. company, and even foreign nations and businesses that carry out any type of economic transaction with a Venezuelan entity.
Over Twitter, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed that Peruvian companies continue to refuse to fuel the humanitarian flights, which were grounded Saturday. “It is not the first time that this has happened,” said the top diplomat.
Venezuelan Minister also demanded Venezuelans' human right to return to their homes be respected.
Denunciamos que debido al reiterado e intencional obstáculo del Gobierno y empresas del Perú para abastecer de combustible al vuelo humanitario del #PlanVueltaALaPatria nos vimos obligados a suspenderlo. Exigimos respeto a los DDHH de los venezolanos que desean volver a su Patria pic.twitter.com/JsU3jphzSi
We reject the Peruvian government's and its companies that intentionally and repeatedly block the fuel supply for 'Plan Return to the Homeland' humanitarian flights, which we are forced to suspend. We demand respect for Venezuelans' human rights who wish to return to their homeland. They say: We want to come back!
So far, 40 flights have already been made between Lima and Caracas in which thousands of Venezuelans have returned voluntarily to their country of origin. There they will receive help through government social programs to reassimilate.
Developed by President Nicolas Maduro, The Plan Return Home gives free land or air transport to Venezuelans in neighboring countries who wish to go back home.