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Police arrested the four remaining activists occupying the Venezuelan Embassy this morning in a standoff that began in mid-April.
The protesters support the embattled government of Nicolás Maduro and aimed to prevent diplomats for the country’s opposition government from moving into the building.
We’ll hear the latest from DCist’s Natalie Delgadillo.
Produced by Julie Depenbrock
- Natalie Delgadillo Staff Writer at DCist.com, @ndelgadillo07
KOJO NNAMDIYou're tuned in to The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5, welcome. Later in the broadcast very shortly as a matter of fact we'll be taking a look at D.C.'s comedy scene. But first, police arrested the four remaining protestors occupying the Venezuelan Embassy after a standoff that has lasted more than a month. Joining us by phone with the latest from the Venezuelan Embassy is Natalie Delgadillo, Staff Writer for DCist. Natalie, thank you for joining us.
NATALIE DELGADILLOHey, Kojo. Can you hear me?
NNAMDINow I do. Natalie, thank you very much for joining us.
DELGADILLOThanks for having me.
NNAMDINatalie, you're at the Venezuelan Embassy right now. It's my understanding. What's the latest? I saw where Medea Benjamin tweeted, she of Code Pink, that the four last activists had be taken into custody?
DELGADILLOThat's correct. So I can confirm this morning that the last four activists who were living in the embassy since early April were taken into custody. They were taken away in a federal police vehicle and they are now being processed.
NNAMDISo they were not taken away by the Metropolitan Police Department of D.C. They were taken away by federal authorities?
DELGADILLOThat's correct. I did hear that they're being processed at the District station here, although I haven't confirmed that independently. That's what activists have told me.
NNAMDICan you describe the scene at the embassy right now?
DELGADILLOYeah. So the scene out in the front of the embassy is really quiet especially compared to the way it's been over the last three weeks. It's almost eerie out there. But about around where they brought the activists out after they'd been arrested and whisked them away there is a group of Venezuelans and Venezuelan Americans, who've been protesting for the last couple of weeks trying to get the activists to come out. And they are, you know, celebrating. They're really happy that this has finally come to fruition. They've been singing the Venezuelan national anthem, chanting, you know, hugging each other. It's like a little celebration out here.
NNAMDIDo we have any idea what happens next? We do know because we discussed this on the show yesterday, heard from a number of Venezuelan Americans and other who were calling in. Do we know if the people named as diplomats who are supporters of the opposition self-declared government of Juan Guaido will be moving into the embassy now that the activists are gone?
DELGADILLOWell, it's too soon to say for sure, but that's what it looks like. It appears that that might what's going on. That's certainly what a lot of the activists or protestors out here want to happen. On Saturday, Code Pink and other groups in support of them are going to be having a rally that is, you know, opposing Juan Guaido's diplomats moving into the embassy and what they are calling an illegal raid of the embassy by U.S. Secret Service.
NNAMDIIn the meantime, the supporters of Juan Guaido are celebrating outside the embassy at this point. What are you hearing from them?
DELGADILLOThey're really happy. They're really excited. You know, they are basically saying, "This is what we've been waiting for for three weeks." And they're really worried actually that there is some kind of damage to the embassy inside. I've heard that from several people that they're sort of looking forward to being able to look inside the embassy and see what kind of state it's in. And, yeah, they're basically just celebrating at this point.
NNAMDISo we're not in a waiting mode to see what will happen next at the embassy, Who will occupy it whether or not it will stay closed or -- Medea Benjamin had mentioned yesterday that some kind of negotiation was taking place as to what would be happening ultimately with the embassy, but about all of that at this point we know nothing, right?
DELGADILLOThat's right. Yeah. We're not sure. It's too soon to tell.
NNAMDIWell, we'll have to see what happens. Natalie Delgadillo is a Staff Writer for DCist. Natalie, thank you so much for joining us.
DELGADILLOThank you, Kojo.
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