May 23, 2019
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Final activists at Venezuelan embassy in US arrested

Washington, May 16 (EFE).- The last four supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who were protesting inside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington were arrested Thursday by US authorities.

Activist Ariel Gold, national director of Code Pink, a group which supported the protestors, said four people were detained inside the building.

"It is a violation of the Vienna Convention," she added.

The US Secret Service told Efe that agents executed arrest warrants against "individuals who were inside the Venezuelan embassy."

Code Pink is a group that is part of the self-described Venezuela Embassy Protection Collective.

The activists took over the embassy more than a month ago in support of Maduro.

The US and 50 other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president after he declared Maduro’s re-election as fraudulent.

A van and two police cars were seen leaving the premises on Thursday and Code Pink said that two of the activists had been removed from the embassy, ??but could not confirm if the other two were still in the building or not.

Carlos Vecchio, Guaido’s envoy to the US, previously wrote in Spanish in a thread of tweets: "Outside the invaders of our embassy, ??the usurpation ceased, it has taken time and effort, but we met the Venezuelans.

"Infinitely grateful to the Venezuelan Diaspora for its sacrifice, next release: Venezuela.

"Thanks to the US Government, the State Department and the security forces for their support in enforcing international laws and treaties, the usurpation ceased, and we are moving forward," he said.

Vecchio added: "See you at the embassy this afternoon."

Outside the building, a large police deployment was in place with dozens of officers.

The access roads to the main and rear doors of the building were cordoned off by the authorities.

Many supporters of Guaido gathered in the vicinity with Venezuelan flags and banners.

One of the posters read in English: "The invaders of the embassy are violating the Vienna Convention by supporting a murderous house raid and lying."

The Venezuelan embassy, ??in the wealthy neighborhood of Georgetown, has become a symbol of the power struggle within the country. EFE

asl/rb/sh

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