Police broke into the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC, and arrested the four remaining activists who have been occupying the building for weeks, raising concerns that the U.S. is violating Article 22 of the Vienna Convention.
It appears that police entered the building around 9:30 a.m. and the four activists were seen being taken away in a police transport vehicle around 11:15. These four were the last remaining activists in the embassy, from a group that has been occupying the building for the last 3 weeks.
They claim that they were occupying the building for the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro, and they remained in the embassy, even after the State Department ordered the building would be turned over to representatives for Opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Police posted a notice on the door of the embassy on Monday, telling the activists inside that if they did not leave, they would be arrested and charged with trespassing.
Several were seen leaving that night, but it wasn’t until this morning that the four remaining activists were forcibly removed from the embassy.
I spoke to their lawyer earlier today, and she said that the activists were charged with interfering with a protective order. It is not clear if they are facing any other charges, but she also said that the arrests raised serious concerns about international law.
Now, we still are not sure what the conditions are on the inside of the building, but we do know that there are a number of activists who have been living inside the embassy without electricity or running water for days.
It’s also not clear if the State Department is planning to hand the embassy over to representatives for opposition leader Juan Guaido, but we have heard reports that his representative to the U.S. is expected to make an appearance later today for a press conference.