The Americas

Venezuela's cellphone providers suspend international calls

Pedestrians walk outside Movistar a cell phone company office in the Chacao municipality of Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 11, 2016. Movistar, a subsidiary of the Spanish-based Telefonica, and Digitel both announced last week that they would be cutting international service because of issues related to Venezuela's byzantine currency controls. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Pedestrians walk outside Movistar a cell phone company office in the Chacao municipality of Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, April 11, 2016. Movistar, a subsidiary of the Spanish-based Telefonica, and Digitel both announced last week that they would be cutting international service because of issues related to Venezuela's byzantine currency controls. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

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 says the change will be temporary, but doesn't say 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.