Venezuelan President Maduro says his plane blocked from U.S. airspace

Sept. 20, 2013 at 8:25 AM
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CARACAS, Venezuela, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said his plane has been blocked from entering U.S. airspace. A U.S. State Department official said the assertion was untrue.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Thursday plans for Maduro's presidential plane to fly through Puerto Rican airspace on the way to China had been foiled by U.S. officials, CNN reported. A senior State Department official told the network the flight had been approved.

"If I have to take diplomatic measures against the U.S. government, I will take them to the most drastic level if it is necessary, but I am not going to accept any type of aggression," Maduro said in remarks broadcast on state television.

"The United States government is not going to stop our trip."

Maduro also said U.S. officials denied visas for several members of the Venezuelan delegation attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

The U.S. State Department said that allegation is untrue as well, CNN reported Thursday.

Maduro said the United States is fearful of Venezuela's growing relationship with China.

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