US activists rush to Venezuela embassy to stop takeover

Protestors demonstrating against supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido hang signs outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, April 25, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

A group of US activists have gathered at the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, in a bid to prevent the diplomatic building from being taken over by representatives of US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The gathering took place upon a call by the Latin American country's legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro.

The development, first reported by  Russia's Sputnik news agency on Sunday, saw members of the Embassy Protection Collective activist group gather at the Venezuelan Embassy to prevent the facility from "occupation" of the premises.

A deadline set by Washington for the Latin American country’s diplomats to leave had expired on April 24.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

πŸ‡»πŸ‡ͺ "The Protection is in the [-n] embassy [in ] with the permission of the Venezuelan government", so "the Collective is not breaking the law but serving the of Venezuela"

See Ecce Antonio πŸ’₯'s other Tweets
The activists said that from a legal standpoint they were the tenants in the embassy and that Washington laws govern their stay on as well as potential eviction from the premises.

The American activists decorated the inside of the diplomatic mission with various placards and signs that voiced opposition to America's Venezuela policy, such as "US Hands Off Venezuela," "No Coup," "Guaido Not Welcome Here," and "It is Illegal to Give This Embassy to Anyone But the Elected Government of Venezuela."

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Dozens of activists are still staying in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, DC trying to prevent the building from being taken over by State Dept. and Guaido representatives. The atmosphere inside the building is cautious, but hopeful. Photos by Sputnik reporter

19 people are talking about this
​Sputnik cited an activist as saying that the US administration sought to claim legitimacy for Guaido and his representatives by handing them the embassy.

There were speculations that the Washington police may enter and evict the embassy.

So far, the administration of US President Donald Trump has openly advocated  "regime change" in Venezuela by backing opposition leader Guaido.

Venezuela has been shaken by political unrest in the past several months. In January, tensions worsened after Guaido, president of the defunct National Assembly, abruptly declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela, challenging the outcome of last year’s presidential election, in which Maduro emerged victorious.

Ever since, the US has been escalating tensions against oil-rich Venezuela, and has not ruled out the military option to take out Maduro’s government.Washington has also confiscated Venezuela’s US-based oil assets in an attempt to channel revenue from them to Guaido.

Maduro has repeatedly accused Washington of openly pushing for a coup in the Latin American country.

Caracas has accused Washington of waging an economic war, which has led to hyperinflation and widespread shortages of food and medicine in Venezuela.