"Four brave protectors remain inside the Venezuelan embassy risking arrest as they have been [illegally] ordered by authorities to leave. It is unclear if the authorities plan to hand over the building to Vecchio and the fake gov’t—or if they will simply hold onto it," Codepink tweeted Monday.
Earlier, a police officer read an unofficial document, without letterhead or signature, which indicates that the U.S. Government recognizes Carlos Vecchio, as the "representative" of lawmaker Juan Guaido, leader of the failed coup against the constitutional government of President Nicolas Maduro.
The document, which also does not have the stamp of any U.S. authority, informed that at Vecchio's request all the people inside the Venezuelan embassy would be evicted, threating that "anyone who refuses to obey the demands and orders to vacate the property will be in violation of federal and District of Columbia law, and could be arrested and criminally prosecuted."
This latest attack on Venezuela’s sovereignty comes as a blatant disregard of international law. "Without any legal request, U.S. authorities violate international law by illegally evicting activists from Venezuela's diplomatic office,” Vice-minister of Foreign Affairs for North America, Carlos Ron stated.
According to Art. 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, “the premises of the mission shall be inviolable.” The article continues by assuring that the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission and is under a special duty to protect the diplomatic mission against any intrusion or damage.
Even during a break in diplomatic relations and supported by art. 45, the receiving nation must continue respecting foreign properties, as the Venezuelan government has done with the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.
Alina Duarte, teleSUR's correspondent in Washington DC, reported that officers with tools have broken the locks of the diplomatic headquarters of Venezuela. The police read out loud the eviction order at around 21:00 local time, there were no arrests and the activists will remain inside, asthey refuse to leave.
The Embassy has closed its doors at the moment but officers have been reported on the outside of the building as Secret Service has blocked the back entrance and Metropolitan polices has blocked the street.
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