News Release

Trump State Department in “Wholesale Violation” of Law at Venezuelan Embassy


Last night, the electricity was cut off to the Venezuelan Embassy. In an apparently unprecedented situation, a group of U.S. activists — who are at the embassy by permission of the Venezuelan government headed by Nicolás Maduro — have formed the Embassy Protection Collective.

See video of the Embassy Protection Collective and the sometimes violent situation outside from Alex Rubinstein of MintPress News.

MEDEA BENJAMIN, medea.benjamin at, @medeabenjamin
Benjamin and other members of the Embassy Protection Collective are holding a news conference at the Embassy at 1:00 p.m. Thursday. Co-founder of CodePink, she just wrote “Our Venezuelan Embassy protest aims to push peace and diplomacy over war,” which was published by the Washington Post and makes the parallel between some Iraqis who wanted a U.S. invasion in 2003, while Benjamin was in Iraq, and the views of some of the supporters of the Venezuelan opposition today. She also just wrote “What Is Happening at the Venezuelan Embassy Is an Outrage.”

Verheyden-Hilliard is executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. She said today: “The Trump State Department, working with and through the Secret Service and the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, is engaged in wholesale violation of civil rights, constitutional rights, and international law. The State Department has authorized violations of core provisions of the Vienna Convention — an unprecedented step that will have global repercussions. Even in times of war diplomatic missions have remained protected between countries. Law enforcement is allowing and facilitating acts of violence and terror against peace activists inside and outside the embassy refusing to arrest members of the right-wing mob who commit assaults in plain view. The State Department has now cut off utilities to the Embassy, even though the bills are fully paid, which violates Articles 22 and 25 of the Vienna Convention. The persons inside remain lawfully present with no order to leave having been issued, so the government is trying to force them out through illegal means. The Trump administration is being assisted in this process by the silence of local and federal elected officials who are voicing no objection to this extraordinary violence and violation of human rights and international law.”

JANICE SEVRE-DUSZYNSKA, rhythmsofthedance1 at
A member of the Embassy Protection Collective who spent six days in the embassy, Janice Sevre-Duszynska said today: “The well-funded pro-Guaidó people have harassed and assaulted those who support the Embassy Protection Collective.”