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Venezuela's cellphone providers suspend international calls

Published:Monday | April 11, 2016 | 10:01 AMAP
Venezuela's first lady Cilia Flores, left, speaks to her husband, President Nicolas Maduro during a demosntration, at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, last week.



Venezuela's two main cellphone service providers are suspending long distance calling as the South American country struggles to pay its bills.

Movistar and Spain-based Telefonica both announced on Friday that they would be cutting international service because of issues related to Venezuela's byzantine currency controls.

The companies had already dramatically reduced the list of countries Venezuelans could call.

Movistar said the change will be temporary, but doesn't said when long distance calling will resume.

Currency rationing is increasingly cutting Venezuela's global trade. Many airline companies have abandoned the country, and mail delivery is also limited.

The government requires companies to get approval for converting local bolivars into dollars and is reluctant to part with foreign currency.