Activists Continue to Hold Venezuelan Embassy in Washington

Members of the Embassy Collection Protective have written phone numbers of their attorneys on their arms.

By Pat Elder, World BEYOND War

It is Thursday evening and I am reporting from a meeting of the Embassy Protection Collective in the ambassador’s conference room in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. 

Determined activists are currently discussing the logistics of their continued struggle to retain possession of the embassy. They have managed to overcome a host of challenges since responsibility for the embassy was officially turned over to them when Venezuelan diplomats who represent the legitimate government of Nicolas Madero were forced out of the U.S. last week.

Activists are currently unable to enter the building. When members of the collective arrive at the embassy, Guaido supporters, right-wing extremists, sound an ear-piercing alarm, similar to the blaring sound of an emergency vehicle, to rally opposition folks to physically block activists from entering and to seize the opportunity to storm the compound. Meanwhile, Secret Service Police explain to the barred activists that they’re precluded from entering because they don’t have authorization from the “legitimate authorities,” meaning representatives from the Guaido government.

The dozen or so Secret Service officers seem to have bonded with a few dozen pro-coup forces who have displayed outrageous, unruly behavior like the blaring bullhorns that are sounded a few inches from the faces of anti-coup folks, many of whom had been in the embassy but left and were precluded from re-entering the building. The angry, combative counter-protesters have bullied the highly-disciplined peace activists and covered the ground floor windows with pro-Guaido literature.  The Guaido folks have been free to bang on the exterior doors while the police stand idly by. They have destroyed exterior surveillance cameras and destroyed embassy property.

Legitimate Venezuelan authorities with the Maduro government in Caracas say the possible takeover of the embassy in Washington by Guaido’s people represents a “grave violation” of the United States’ responsibilities and violates international law. Venezuelan diplomats gave the keys to the embassy to the activists with permission to remain until a permanent protectorate can be found.  President Maduro is aware of the situation and extends his support to the Embassy Protection Collective.

On Thursday afternoon, the Secret Service allowed in some food and medicine while the State Department has granted a meeting with members of the Embassy Protector Collective: Code Pink co-founder, Medea Benjamin, DC attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, and ANSWER Coalition Director Brian Becker. As of Thursday evening, that meeting had not yet taken place. Meanwhile, activists in the compound are hopeful they can retain possession of the premises. 

Verheyden-Hilliard slammed the Secret Service and the DC Metropolitan Police in a letter earlier Wednesday. She wrote, “Your officers are acting as aiders, abettors, encouragers, and joint tort-feasors in the assaultive, menacing, threatening and at times violent conduct against the lawfully present peace activists at the embassy by a mob of right-wing thugs,”

The activists in the embassy understand this is an historic moment. Adrienne Pine, an Anthropology Professor at American University, is among the members of the collective in the embassy. She echoed a theme among the activists that Americans generally have a poor grasp of history.  She explained her presence, “The 2009 U.S.-supported coup in Honduras led to a murderous, neoliberal fascist dictatorship. The subsequent U.S.-backed legislative coup that ousted Dilma Rousseff in Brazil led to Bolsonaro’s openly fascist regime, which threatens the survival of the entire planet. There is no way I could not be here, knowing what I do about where this coup—if successful—would inevitably lead.”


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  • Alexistori Gonzalez
    followed this page 2020-03-11 01:54:44 -0400
  • Billy Merrick
    commented 2019-05-15 00:04:00 -0400
    lama botas de john bolton y elliot abrams! no saben nada de historia. quieren atacar iran también.
  • Billy Merrick
    commented 2019-05-15 00:00:05 -0400
    once again a lot of sheep dips out there. lama boots de john bolton y elliotb abrams. no saben nada de historia. queren aracar iran tambian.
  • Sebastián Posada
    commented 2019-05-14 11:20:29 -0400
    I can’t believe there’s people stupid enough in the USA to support Nicolás Maduro, can’t you see what he’s done with Venezeuela, can’t you see the disaster Chavez’ legacy is?

    Are you really fighters for freedom, or communist tyrants supporters?
  • Billy Merrick
    commented 2019-05-13 23:13:08 -0400
    Sure have a lot of Venezuelan sheep dips out there. Juan guide the biggest sheep dip of all times. Friends of john bolton for sure
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-12 20:49:39 -0400
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-12 17:41:10 -0400
    May the people of Venezuela survive the racist opposition and the greed of those who want to steal its oil. Peace.
  • Sergio Arguello
    commented 2019-05-12 16:54:31 -0400
    Shame on you, serving a bloody corrupt dictator and make it more difficult to the poor people of Venezuela … it’s hard to believe that you are ignorant… I hope you are not as corrupt as well
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-12 16:53:26 -0400
    Judy — Thank you for the truth of the situation.
    May the people of Venezuela survive this and flourish again.

  • Judy Ilan
    commented 2019-05-12 16:08:56 -0400
    It seems that Venezuelan Americans and affluent Venezuelans have an idealized version of their history. Venezuela was run by death squads. It had one of the highest illiteracy rates in Latin America and most of the citizens had never seen a doctor. The vast majority of the people lived in horrible hovels. While you had your lovely life you remember so fondly, the majority of Venezuelans lived a life of starvation and terror. Hugo Chavez led these people to the various times elected Bolivarian Revolution which brought a new life to these deprived Venezuelans: medical centers all over the country, a literacy program that wiped out illiteracy, food distribution centers, housing programs, land distribution program out of the city, university centres in neighbourhoods,
    highways, bridges, transit systems built all over the country, and many more benefits. Yes the people are literate and they VOTE! All this has been accomplished in spite of a vicious opposition that has sabotaged, ravaged, destroyed, organized coups, murdered, kidnapped, tortured, any method possible to return themselves to power. You can see them outside the embassy with their sledgehammers. They refer to themselves as “the real Venezuelans”. It seems that the huge majority of the rest of the country are not Venezuelans but rather less than human peons. Of course looming in the background is Uncle Sam fanning the fire to take back its “backyard”. Viva Venezuela! Viva Code Pink! 6.2 million votes for Maduro…….
  • Victor Templer
    commented 2019-05-12 10:25:17 -0400
    Codepink is an integral dissenting voice in this left vs right insane clown show.
    Thank you.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-12 08:42:57 -0400
    You keep mentioning Alex Jones, someone I detest.
    I offered you Glenn Greenwald, one of the most respected journalists in the world, so stop whining.
    You seem unable to think clearly.
    Get some rest.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 22:40:47 -0400
    Here’s a Glenn Greenwald talk on Venezuela I found.

    Very informative….

    Goodbye and good luck. May you see the truth.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 22:11:56 -0400
    Ediardp Ferrerp — Glenn Greenwald is the Pulitizer winner. I did NOT send you a link for him as I couldn’t find one easily. I only sent links for Greg Palast and Abby Martin and neither of them are entertainers. They are respected journalists you cand read about on Wikipedia.

    Anyway, I’m done with this thread. I only spend time with people who have open minds.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 20:01:52 -0400
    Eduardo — the links I posted of Greg Palast and Abby Martin both mention their trips to Veneszuela.
    And both of them are prize winning journalists, NOT entertainers. You obviously didn’t listen to them.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 19:56:26 -0400
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 19:55:37 -0400
    Eduardo — the lFacebook link you posted is corrupt.
    I don’t want to hear anymore propaganda anyway.
    You haven’t convinced me one bit.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 12:01:47 -0400
    Eduardo — Listen and Learn

    Greg Palast BBC Reporter Corrects US Media on Venezuela

    Abby Martin on Venezuela
    What You’re Not Being Told About Venezuela Crisis. w/Abby Martin
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 10:42:33 -0400
    Eduardo — I only get my information from independent journalists such as Pulitzer Prize winner, Glenn Greenwald, Greg Palast and Abby Martin who have actually been in Venezuela recently.
    You just can’t believe the lies of the main stream media.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-11 09:35:58 -0400
    Eduardo – The loyal Venezuelans are in Venezuela resisting US aggression through iit’s puppet, Guaido.who continues to call for a military uprising. He threatens to plunge the country into a bloody coup that could lead to decades of war. And U.S. economic sanctions are leading to more misery.

    The Mexican government and the Vatican are calling for mediation not war. May it be so.
  • Judy Ilan
    commented 2019-05-10 22:35:37 -0400
    Viva Venezuela! I am so proud of Code Pink and other activists who are Protecting the Venezuelan Embassy in DC. This so called Venezuelan opposition is showing their true character: street thugs molesting non violent protesters. You can see who the real perpetrators of violence in Venezuela are. Most Venezuelans we meet in North America are from the opposition since the people who support the Bolivarian Revolution cannot afford to travel and learn to speak English. The self appointed, unelected Guaidó camp have profited from the plundering of the Venezuelan oil riches for generations prior to the Bolivarian uprising of the majority poor with several elections of Chavez and now Maduro. These poor people previously lived in horrendous hovels in barrios without medical care, access to affordable food, and had one of the highest illiteracy rates in Latin America. The country is now full of neighborhood medical centers, housing projects and low cost food distribution areas. You can see the people lining up to sign a petition against US intervention in their country. The massive literacy campaign worked: they can write and they are using it. Why would they ever vote in another dictator? The Guaidó gang wants to return this majority to those previous conditions. They will never accept that these low class people have taken power. Of course, to these oligarchs all the elections won by the poor people are illegitimate. Around all of this and breathing down their necks is the oil thirsty American government waiting to snatch the loot. Observe the microcosm at the embassy: the Guaidó guys threatening and harassing the Protectors and the US security/police breaking international law attacking and arresting the Protectors. Power to the Protectors! Viva Venezuela!
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-10 18:22:32 -0400
    What’s really going on in Venezuela and in their Embassy in DC.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-10 17:28:51 -0400
    81% of Venezuelans did not know who Juan Guaidó was two weeks before he appointed himself President. The last election he won was for a seat in the National Assembly in 2015. Two weeks ago he tried to instigate a coup that garnered the support of a few dozen troops. When he called the opposition into the streets, their demonstrations were dwarfed by those in support of the government. The majority of the 192 countries have NOT recognized Guaido’s “government” as legitimate.
    Maduro won the election last year with a large majority and with a share of the total eligible electorate roughly the same as typical US presidents. Most Venezuelans do not view his rule as illegitimate and the majority certainly do not regard Guaidó as their President. Rather Guaidó is widely regarded as a U.S. puppet complicit in crippling economic sanctions that have cost 40,000 Venezuelan lives, and is now looking to spark a civil war or direct U.S. military intervention.
    What we are seeing now with the Embassy is political theater directed by the Trump administration to sell Americans on another war for regime-change. Kudos to the Embassy Protection Collective for standing up to a US violation of internal law.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-10 12:36:50 -0400
    Eduerdo, You are simply misinformed. The videos you mentioned are actually showing Guido’s foreces running over poor Venezuelans.

    This video shows what Venezuelans in the barrio think of Guaido….
  • Daniel Vila
    commented 2019-05-09 22:19:35 -0400
    Daniel Vila here from WBAI 99.5 FM in New York City and would very much like to interview for the station someone who is inside the Embassy of Venezuela. Have already interviewed two people, Lucy Pagoada and Sergio Torres who have been in solidarity outside.
    Would also like for our weekly program of 15 years on WBAI, La Voz Latina.
    You may call me very late as I go to bed around 5 AM…
    Thank you
    Daniel at 718.414.9558
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-09 12:57:46 -0400
    Guido has proved that he cares very little for the lives of Venezuelans as his men have shot live ammunition in their coup attempts.
    In contrast, President Madura instructed his soldiers to use only rubber bullets and tear gas.
    In any other country, Guido would already be in prison for treason.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-09 10:18:55 -0400
    The far-right fascists in the USA are doing the same thing to Venezuela that they once did to Mexico. Long ago, the war with Mexico started by whites going to Mexico to live; they were welcomed by the people. Over time, more and more whites went there to live; once there was enough support from the whites, they started a coup against the Mexican government. That’s how we ended up with the state of TEXAS; we stole it from Mexico. They are doing the same thing in Venezuela; now that they have enough whites there, they are creating a coup to oust the native brown people from their own government.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-08 22:42:18 -0400
    Guido is puppet of the US trying to overturn Maduro who elected by popular vote. In fact, former President Carter said that Venezuela has had the most fair elections of any nation he;s monitored.

    US aggression is an old story in S. America. Now they want to take the oil and will do anything to get it. They brought the sanctions to starve the people and cause an uprising. But the people don’t want the US there and are standing behind Maduro. Heaven protect them.
  • Roger Pelizzari
    commented 2019-05-08 19:10:58 -0400
    You are all brave souls. Please get some activist men to protect you at the Embassy. You need protection against those thugs threatening you. You are real heroes of peace. Stay strong and stay safe.
    Peace for Venezuela
  • Nancy L Dethmers
    commented 2019-05-03 20:41:13 -0400
    Thank you to all of the brave Embassy activists!!
    Hold on to your integrity in the face of such hate and total obedience shown to the power mongers!
    I will hold you in my thoughts.