WASHINGTON: After a standoff lasting more than a month, US police have elected to end the siege of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, by declaring the Embassy Protection Collective to be tresspassers who must leave the property, and subsequently conducting a raid of the facility.
The collective is comprised of group of anti-war protesters from organizations including Code Pink, Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, Popular Resistance, and the Black Alliance for Peace, who said they believed the embassy falling into opposition hands would precipitate a war between the US and Venezuela and set a dangerous precedent elsewhere in the hemisphere for other diplomatic offices to be similarly disrespected.
Immediately prior to the raid, US Marshals cut the chains and locks placed on the front door by the exiting Venezuelan diplomats several weeks ago, and placed a notice to vacate on the front door of the embassy, located in Washington, DC’s historic Georgetown district.
“This property is used for official business and diplomatic purposes. The United States of America recognizes Ambassadors Vecchio and Tarre as the representatives of Venezuela with lawful control over the property,” the letter reads, which wasn’t delivered on an kind of official letterhead. “Accordingly, the United States does not recognize the authority of the former Maduro regime, or any of its former representatives, to allow and individuals to lawfully enter, remain on this property, or take any other action with respect to this property.”
“Ambassadors Vecchio and Tarre have requested and directed anyone who is present on this property to depart from it immediately, and to not return without these ambassadors’ express authorization,” the notice continues. “Any person who refuses to comply with these requests and orders to depart from this property will be trespassing in violation of federal and District of Columbia law and may be arrested or criminally prosecuted.”