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Air Canada suspends Venezuela flights over unrest

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Photo - FILE - In this July 28, 2011 file photo, an Air Canada plane sits at a gate at the Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia. Air Canada said it has suspended its flights to and from Venezuela due to civil unrest, in a statement posted on its website Monday, March 17, 2014. The airline's last flight left Caracas on Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2011 file photo, an Air Canada plane sits at a gate at the Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia. Air Canada said it has suspended its flights to and from Venezuela due to civil unrest, in a statement posted on its website Monday, March 17, 2014. The airline's last flight left Caracas on Sunday, March 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Air Canada says it has suspended its flights to and from Venezuela due to civil unrest.

In a statement posted on its website Monday, the airline says it can no longer ensure the safety of its operation in Venezuela, which has been roiled by daily street protests over crime and a deteriorating economy for more than a month.

The airline's last flight left Caracas on Sunday. It is offering refunds to those who have purchased tickets for flights after that.

Foreign airlines have struggled under a $3.3 billion debt owed by the Venezuelan government.

President Nicolas Maduro said Friday any airline that reduced or suspended flights in and out of Venezuela would face severe measures. He said any airline that leaves won't be allowed back while he is in power.

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