SWAT Team Raids Venezuelan Embassy In DC To Cheers Of Guaido Supporters

A federal SWAT team breached the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. on Thursday morning, in a move the Maduro government has condemned as a violation of the Vienna Convention, which protects a nation’s embassy as sovereign territory. 

Anti-coup protesters in the Georgetown Venezuelan embassy. 

The four remaining “Embassy Collective” activists who were remaining from among dozens of anti-war protesters who had been holed up in the embassy for the prior few weeks were arrested, according to local accounts.

The group had been defending the embassy since April 10 from what they described as a hostile and illegal potential takeover from pro-Guaido opposition supporters camped outside. The Maduro-supporting collective had the blessing of Venezuelan diplomatic authorities. 

Subsequently, Carlos Vecchio – the Guaidó-appointed ambassador – tweeted his congratulations that the embassy had been “liberated,” further thanking the “Venezuelan diaspora” for helping.

The vocal anti-war group Code Pink had formed a core of the group which D.C. police and the Secret Service had reportedly considered as illegal squatters.

Tensions began ratcheting on Monday night as US federal officials ordered the activists out, saying they were criminally trespassing. 

Days prior the electricity had also been cut and surrounding police had refused to allow food and water to the protectors.

Pro-Guaido supporters began shouting in support of the police as they prepared to raid the embassy. 

The raid was likely on orders from the highest levels of the State Department, given the US only recognizes Juan Guaido’s opposition movement as the sole legitimate authority in Venezuela, even though it has no power domestically, but is a kind of government-in-exile. 

Reporters on the scene noted that the federal agents stormed the embassy in Georgetown with a SWAT battering ram, after which an ambulance could be seen on the scene, but it was not immediately clear who was injured, or if there was any attempt among the four to resist arrest.