The handful of protesters remaining at the Embassy of Venezuela on 30th Street in Georgetown were removed by police on May 16. Calling themselves the “Embassy Protection Collective,” the demonstrators had been protesting U.S. policies concerning Venezuela since mid-April from inside the embassy,
Last Thursday, police raided the building and arrested the four holdouts. At one point, there had been more than 30 individuals inside, VOA News reported, but most had left after police threats. The protesters said they consider Nicolás Maduro the legal president of Venezuela.
The arrest of the protesters made way for the embassy to be handed over to the administration of opposition leader Juan Guaidó, president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who is now recognized by many governments as the country’s acting president.
The ambassador appointed by Guaidó is Carlos Vecchio, who said in a statement that he would seek to take back control of the embassy.
The activists who occupied the embassy were part of Codepink, which describes itself as “a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.”
Venezuelans protested outside while, in the words of Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak, “a handful of white people” protested inside. Demanding that the Codepink activists leave, the Venezuelans on 30th Street voiced their frustrations to the police and the media. One said that the embassy’s occupation was “like an SNL skit.”