Leftists who support Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro and have occupied the Venezuelan Washington, DC, embassy since last week are holding a press conference at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Thursday to complain that the electricity has been turned off.
The leftwing groups, including the controversial group Code Pink, claim they are lawfully occupying the space, which diplomats abandoned when the effort to replace Maduro with the now legitimate interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, began to unfold in recent weeks.
The occupiers believe that the developments in Venezuela where Maduro still clings to power represent a military coup aided and abetted by the United States, even though the only military action there has been troops loyal to the dictator attacking pro-Guaidó protesters.
In D.C., Venezuelans and Venezuelan Americans have been camping on the sidewalks outside of the embassy to show their support for Guaidó and for democratic elections after Maduro is removed from office.
“The Venezuelan government, led by Interim President Juan Guaidó, has legal authority over the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C.,” the State Department said in a statement.
“We encourage the remaining unauthorized individuals to vacate the building and to conduct any future protest peacefully and through legal means,” the statement said.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter