05:51 GMT23 January 2021
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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The next court hearing on the case of four US activists arrested during a police seizure of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC in May, will take place on July 9, while the trial is likely to be held in the fall, co-director of the Popular Resistance activist group Kevin Zeese said.

    “9 July will be the next hearing. That's the status conference. It's the US district court in Washington DC before the chief judge […] She is holding a status conference to discuss where we are in the case, what kind of progress has been made on discovery”, Zeese said Tuesday.

    The activist noted that from his point of view the trial would likely take place in the fall.

    “That's a process. I expect this trial will probably not happen until the fall. It'll be a process until then”, Zeese suggested.

    He pointed out the importance of the activists’ victory in this trial.

    "We think the most important thing we can do right now is to win this trial, have a jury say – ‘not guilty,’ and that would be an indictment of US imperialism and the US coup in Venezuela. An argument the jury says - uphold international law, don't violate it […] That trial is the most important thing we can do to push this agenda forward going to Venezuela", Zeese noted.

    In May, US authorities broke into the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington to arrest four activists who had been residing in the building for more than a month – as guests of the Venezuelan government – in an effort to prevent self-proclaimed Venezuelan President Juan Guaido’s people from seizing it. The activists argued that they had a legal right to stay in the facility because the embassy belonged to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s UN-recognized government.

    On 17 May, a US judge ordered the release of the four activists – Zeese, Margaret Flowers, Adrienne Pine and David Paul - on the condition that they do not come within 100 feet of Venezuela’s diplomatic facilities. The activists are also required to report to the court on a weekly basis and cannot travel abroad without permission.

    Venezuela has been suffering from a severe political and economic crisis for several years, more recently ratcheting up in late January after US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president in a bid to oust Venezuelan President Maduro from power.

    Maduro accused Guaido of being a US puppet, working with Washington to orchestrate a coup so that the United States could seize Venezuela’s vast fossil fuel  resources.

    The United States and 54 other countries have recognized Guaido as president of Venezuela. Russia, China, Bolivia, Turkey and numerous other countries have said they recognize constitutionally-elected Maduro as the only president of Venezuela.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (579)


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