02:35 GMT01 November 2020
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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza wrote on Twitter Thursday that the US government must "comply with its obligations as signatories to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations" and act to protect its former embassy building in Washington, DC.

    "We require the U.S. Department of State to comply with its obligations as signatories to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and to protect the building of the former Venezuelan embassy in Washington, as our government protects its facilities In Caracas," Arreaza wrote on Twitter.

    Although all diplomatic staff have departed from the facility, located in Washington, DC's historic Georgetown district, several dozen anti-war activists have taken up residence inside the compound for the last several weeks to prevent associates of self-proclaimed Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaido from occupying the embassy and claiming to represent Venezuelan diplomatic interests in the US. Arreaza said last week at a press conference at the United Nations that the "Embassy Protection Collective" were "guests" of the Venezuelan government and not trespassing.

    However, when Guaido called Venezuelans into the streets on Tuesday in a renewed uprising against democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelan opposition figures and their supporters also converged on the Washington, DC, embassy, laying siege to the building as US federal police struggled to keep the two groups of protesters separated.

    ​​On Thursday, US Secret Service police arrested Ariel Gold, national co-director of Code Pink, one of the groups that helped form the collective, as she and other activists tried to force their way into the embassy building in order to resupply them with food. However, police have largely let the opposition protesters have free run around the structure, where they've destroyed security cameras and defaced the side of the building, activists at the embassy told Sputnik. Police did eventually allow some food to enter, but Gold remains in custody.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)


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    Embassy Protection Collective, protesters, statement, defense, Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Code Pink, U.S. Department of State, Jorge Arreaza, Washington, DC
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