German airline Lufthansa cancelled its flights between Germany and Venezuela over the weekend, in the latest sign of the socialist country's growing isolation and economic, social and political turmoil.
Venezuela's economy is seen shrinking 8 percent this year, with hyperinflation averaging 481.5 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Lufthansa will halt the only remaining flight between Germany and Caracas from next month, the Financial Times newspaper reported on Sunday. The carrier said this reflected the country's declining economy and the difficulty of repatriating money from Venezuela due to currency controls.
Amid shortages of basic goods including food, energy and medications, the overthrow of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is viewed as increasingly likely — and the U.S. fears the consequences, given Venezuela's proximity and oil wealth. Earlier this month, U.S. intelligence officials warned on the possibility of a "palace coup," led by Maduro's associates, or a military uprising, according to media reports.
"Serious and/or widespread social unrest remains the key variable that could alter the outlook and hasten a government collapse," Nicholas Watson, senior vice president at Teneo Intelligence, said in a report on Thursday.