At the Venezuelan Embassy in DC today, pro-opposition protesters faced off against a group of activists who claim to be occupying the building for the elected government. To say the Secret Service presence was heavy, was an understatement.
A very rowdy scene developed on Wednesday as those protesters gathered outside the embassy, yelling at the group inside and even blocking entrances the building. Guaido’s representative to the U.S. arrived and attempted to give a speech, but he was drowned out by the group of activists inside, and he eventually left, without successfully entering the building.
In Venezuela, Guaido is not publicly backing down. Today he called for yet another day of nationwide protests. This follows violent clashes between police and protesters on Tuesday and Wednesday. This included members of the National Guard using tear gas to control the crowds. The demonstrations eventually diminished by late Wednesday afternoon.
We have also seen hundreds of protesters take to the streets in support of Maduro. And even though Guaido called for a military uprising, he still has
yet to receive support from the overwhelming majority of the military.
Nicolas Maduro has claimed victory over what he called a “failed coup attempt.” Today he called for military unity and said they must be prepared to combat “traitors” and the opposition. This weekend the elected leader plans to hold a “day of dialogue” to discuss some of the mistakes his government has made.
Here in the United States, U.S. officials who support ousting Maduro have said that military action is one of the options that is on the table. They have also claimed that Maduro is only in power because he is receiving help from foreign influences. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed Maduro is taking directions from Russia, and National Security Adviser John Bolton insisted that Maduro is being propped up by thousands of Cuban troops.
Cuban Diplomat Carlos Fernández de Cossío addressed those comments, and he said that Cuba has no troops in Venezuela, and it is not engaging in any security operations.
“We have said publicly and repeatedly that there are no troops, there
is no militia from Cuba in Venezuela. Cuba does not participate in military
operations, nor in security operations in Venezuela. That those statements are totally false,” he said.
Here at the embassy, we have seen a heavy Secret Service presence, with
agents taking photos and at times separating rowdy protesters from the activists inside. But they have yet to attempt to turn the embassy over to representatives for Guaido.