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    Police are seen walking out of a door at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington D.C., U.S. May 16, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media

    Venezuelan Opposition Envoy Takes Over at DC Embassy - Statement

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s representative in the United States, Carlos Vecchio, has taken control of the country's embassy in Washington, the group said in a press release on Friday.

    "The Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States, Carlos Vecchio, on Friday took control of the [Venezuelan] embassy in the United States in Georgetown", the release said.

    Vecchio takes over the embassy after it was occupied for weeks by activists who were protecting the facility on behalf of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate and UN-recognized government.

    The release also said it will take time for the facility to become operational. The opposition also said they now control all 6 properties of Venezuela’s diplomatic mission in the United States.

    READ MORE: US Demands a Halt to Jet Fuel Trade with Venezuela, Threatens Offenders with Sanctions – Report

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

    Activists with the Embassy Protection Collective had been living inside the Venezuelan embassy since 10 April in order to prevent the United States and Venezuela's opposition from taking over the facility, following Washington's orders for the mission's diplomats to leave its premises.

    Last week, the US authorities forced their way into the embassy and detained all of the activists who had ignored the threats and remained there.

    Meanwhile, Juan Guaido after launching a failed coup at the end of April has formally requested US military assistance in overthrowing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the country’s twice democratically-elected head of state. Vecchio last week said they had reached out to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) to discuss conducting military operations against Venezuela.

    Guaido has claimed they are moving forward on building capacities and international cooperation that will allow the crisis in Venezuela to end and begin the reconstruction of the country.

    READ MORE: Venezuela to Get $400Mn in 'Humanitarian Aid' From US Senate

    The situation in Venezuela remains tense since January when Guaido, extra-constitutionally, proclaimed himself the country’s interim president. Washington and its allies endorsed Guaido and called on Maduro to step down. Guaido is not recognized by nearly three-quarters of UN member states. The United States also seized billions of dollars in  Venezuelan oil assets.

    Maduro, has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a puppet and take over Venezuela’s natural resources. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (562)

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    envoy, opposition, Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, Carlos Vecchio, United States, Venezuela
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