01:48 GMT23 February 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Activists will stage a protest in front of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington on Saturday to denounce the US government’s decision to forcibly enter the diplomatic facility in violation of international law and arrest four activists residing there, organizer Ariel Gold said on Thursday.

    "We will gather on Saturday to say no way to US war in Venezuela, to say no way to the US coup in that country and say no way to violating the Vienna Convention and international law," said Gold, a national co-director for Code Pink and activist with the Embassy Protection Collective. "So we are having an all-out for Venezuela, an all out for hands off Venezuela Saturday at noon right here at the embassy, and we encourage all people to come and show up for that."

    Earlier on Thursday, US police broke into the embassy and arrested four members of the collective who had been living there since April 10 in order to prevent the United States and Venezuela's opposition from taking over the facility.

    Gold pointed out that the US government’s actions are a cause of great concern because they put all embassies across the world at risk, especially the US Embassy in Caracas, and also put Venezuela at greater risk of civil war.

    "It is a sad day for democracy and sad day for international law. They absolutely broke it [international law], they broke in [the embassy], they broke the doors," Gold said.

    Asked what other actions activists could take prior to Saturday’s protest, Gold said, "We are going to be continuing the legal process by using all means at our disposal to protect this embassy."

    Gold noted that the four arrested activists have the support of an attorney, adding, "we will provide solidarity all the way."

    READ MORE: Guaido’s People Responsible for Damage Done to Venezuelan Embassy — US Activist

    Earlier on Thursday, US State Department diplomatic security personnel, supported by the Secret Service and Metropolitan Police and other law enforcement entities, entered the Venezuelan embassy in Washington and arrested four activists belonging to the Embassy Protection Collective.

    The State Department said police carried out the arrest at the request of self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido's representative Carlos Vecchio.

    The United States in March took control of three Venezuelan diplomatic facilities in the United States, including two military buildings that belong to Venezuela's Defence Ministry.

    Tensions in Venezuela have been running high since Guaido in January illegally proclaimed himself to be interim president, gaining swift recognition from the United States and its allies. Russia, China and other countries continue to back Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela. The United Nations also still recognizes the Maduro government.


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