Activists arrested inside DC Venezuelan Embassy

Activists arrested inside DC Venezuelan Embassy
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Four activists who had been protesting in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington for more than a month on Thursday were arrested and forcibly removed from the building.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war organization Code Pink, told The Associated Press that police entered the building early Thursday morning to arrest the protestors.

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The Venezuelan Embassy has been the site of a face-off between supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó for the last few weeks.

Guaidó has been recognized by the U.S. and a number of other nations as the interim president of the South American country, but Maduro has refused to concede power.

The group protesting inside the embassy, which started as more than 30 people but had dwindled over the last month, believe that Maduro is the legitimate president of Venezuela and refused to allow the ambassador appointed by Guaidó to enter the building.

Crowds supporting Guaidó were frequently outside the building trying to get the Maduro backers to leave.

Last week, protest organizers said the electricity in the building was shut off at the direction of Guaidó-appointed diplomats recognized by the U.S. government as the rightful emissaries of Venezuela.

Carlos Vecchio, the Guaidó-appointed ambassador, tweeted Thursday that the embassy had been liberated, thanking the "Venezuelan diaspora" for helping.