On May 9th, the US allegedly cut power to the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, in a continuation of a siege that defies international law.
US authorities illegally cut off power at the Maduro gov’s diplomatic mission.
The #EmbassyProtectionCollective releases a statement saying they were prepared for this, aren’t going anywhere & see parallels between Washington’s treatment of Venezuelan ppl & embassy protectors. pic.twitter.com/b0HJYKybmu
— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) May 9, 2019
Clashes between protesters from the international NGO Code Pink and US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido’s opposition took place, amid the US cutting of electricity to the embassy.
The opposition prevents commodities such as food from entering the embassy from May 8th onwards, with the US authorities providing no assistance.
The Collective of Protection of the Embassy threw a backpack from a window to be filled with food from the outside, but the opposition intercepted it. It was later recovered after scuffles between opposition members and the police, teleSUR correspondent Alina Duarte said.
It remains unclear who caused the power outage, but the activists inside the Embassy blamed the US authorities.
Carlos Vecchio, the envoy to the U.S. of opposition lawmaker and self-proclaimed “interim president” of Venezuela Juan Guaido, described this as “a small victory.”
He further said that he had undertaken the proper measures so that the Code Pink activists can be “evacuated” from the building.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza praised the Embassy Protection Collective and blamed the US imperialism for the situation.
We recognize the dignity and firmness of the Protection Collective of our former Embassy in the US. They are under siege, attacked, blocked and even had the power cut off. Sound familiar? It's imperialism's same illegal strategy against the Venezuelan people
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) May 9, 2019
The Collective of Protection is in Venezuelan territory because the Venezuelan government authorized the group to enter and defend the facilities.
This followed a decision by United States authorities to support the entry of officials appointed by Guaido and claiming that the Venezuelan diplomats who were inside were illegitimate, since they represent the “Maduro regime.”
The activists are protesting the obvious US attempts for regime change against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, while the US-backed opposition claims that Guaido’s presidency is legitimate and the diplomatic mission must come under his control.
President of @VFPNational has been injured by police, he was trying to deliver food to the activists defending Venezuela's embassy from representatives of Juan Guaido.
via @RealAlexRubi pic.twitter.com/mQBVcvknWX
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) May 9, 2019
According to the State Department, those inside the embassy without authorization are considered trespassers. However, the Vienna Convention of 1961 bars U.S. security forces from entering the embassy and forcefully removing anyone.
Regardless, the Collective of Protection is defending the premises and the activists, since Venezuelan diplomats were given a deadline by April 25th to leave the country.
Since May 1st, US-backed opposition supporters have besieged the embassy wanting to let Guaido’s representatives in.
The US Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting any diplomatic mission has done nothing to assist those inside the premises.
Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin wrote the following:
“Even more shocking, the Secret Service, which is tasked with guarding embassies, has allowed this to happen. They have had a constant presence at the embassy since May 1 but have stood by as this group damages the building and threatens the peace activists inside and outside. They have allowed the opposition to bang on the doors with sledgehammers to try to break in, post signs all over the property against the wishes of the legal owners, physically attack people trying to get food inside, and destroy and steal the property of the Embassy Protection Collective (food, placards, signs, canopy). In violation of the city’s noise ordinance, the mob has been blasting sirens all day long at decibels so high that even the Secret Service police have been wearing earplugs. They block the sidewalks and all public passages. They have set up 10 canopies and 3 tents to surround the entire building. When we tried to set up a canopy, we were attacked by Guaidó supporters, but it was our member, Tighe Barry, who was arrested and accused of pushing a Secret Service officer.
The Secret Service has a public statement saying that no individuals, medicine or food have been prevented from entering the building. We ask anyone who believes this to go to the embassy and try to deliver a package to the people inside. Even packages sent by the U.S. Postal Service are not allowed in. Every entrance is blocked by opponents, and the Secret Service does nothing to stop them. On the contrary, supporters who have tried to bring food have been arrested. This was the case of CODEPINK organizer Ariel Gold. When she found all entrances blocked, she threw bread into an empty ramp outside a door and was arrested for “throwing missiles.” When we tied a package to a rope to send food up through a window, three of us were physically assaulted, and despite clear video evidence, the police refused to arrest our attacker.”
PRESIDENT .@NicolasMaduro: THE OUTSTANDING PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES WHO ARE FIGHTINGBACK WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS AGAINST USA SOME OFFICIAL ABUSE & RAGING VIOLENT VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION FOR OUR EMBASSY DESERVE THE HIGHEST RECOGNITION & DECORATION THAT OUR HOMELAND CAN GIVE TO THEM https://t.co/pohrqY8ByA
— Walter Martínez (@WalterDossier) May 10, 2019
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza issued a statement on May 8th asking that the State Department comply with international agreements. “Again we demand the U.S. State Department comply with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and to protect the building of our former embassy in Washington, avoiding aggression against guests who are avoiding an illegal occupation,” Arreaza said in a tweet.
De nuevo exigimos al Departamento de Estado de EEUU cumplir con la Convención de Viena sobre Relaciones Diplomáticas y proteger el edificio de nuestra antigua embajada en Washington, evitando agresiones contra los huéspedes que se encuentran evitando una ocupación ilegal
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) May 9, 2019
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