Elliot Abrams said on April 25, 2019 that we — the Embassy Protection Collective —are “clearly breaking the law” by staying inside the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. to protect it from takeover by Juan Guaido.
We have been here in the Venezuelan Embassy for the past two weeks, and continue to be here, under permission of the legitimate government of Venezuela which, according to the United Nations, is the Maduro administration.
It is appalling and undemocratic for the U.S. to assert that Maduro is not the president of Venezuela. Six million people in Venezuela voted to elect Maduro. Conversely, not one single person has voted for Juan Guaido to be president. Guaido’s representatives cannot issue passports or visas, cannot negotiate agreements, and literally cannot function as a government.
We, the Embassy Protection Collective, are within our legal rights to be inside the embassy. Any trespass into the building by US authorities or the illegal Guaido opposition would constitute illegal seizure of a foreign embassy in flagrant violation of the law According to Article 22 of the 1961 Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Relations.
It is indeed ironic that Elliot Abrams, who has been convicted of lying to Congress and involved in war crimes, is accusing us of breaking the law. Not only is a criminal for past dirty deeds, but he is, right now, orchestrating a coup and acting in blatant violation of international law.
The Embassy Protection collective is being organized by CODEPINK and Popular Resistance.
Abrams made his statement about us after he spoke at the Atlantic Council today, Thursday April 25. During Abrams’ talk, Ariel Gold stood up on a chair in protest of what Abrams was saying and declared to Abrams: “you should not be in charge of the future of Venezuela. How dare you orchestrate a coup in Venezuela. How dare you impose sanctions on Venezuela that harm the Venezuelan people. How dare you, in the name of the American people, overthrow the government of another people…”