Washington / New York, .- Representatives of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó took control of the Venezuelan consulate in New York and two buildings of the Ministry of Defense of this country in Washington, in a gesture that seeks to increase the pressure on President Nicolás Maduro.
In a press conference in the US capital, Carlos Vecchio, the “ambassador” of Guaidó in the country, explained that the “recovery” of the three properties is due to the desire to “recover and protect the assets of the Venezuelan people to prevent the Maduro’s usurper regime keeps stealing and destroying them, as he has done in the last 20 years. “
After 14.00 local time (18.00 GMT) took place the three headquarters: the consulate in New York and the military attaché of Venezuela in Washington, in addition to another building in ruins in the capital, which in the past housed the military attaché and naval.
Vecchio entered accompanied by a score of journalists and cameramen in the former military attaché, where he showed the “bad conditions” of the roof, dirt, chipped walls and pipes discovered in several rooms.
According to Efe, the shelves were empty, the telephone wires were loose and only two portraits of the late Hugo Chávez remained on a table.
After making a tour of the place with the press, Vecchio hoisted the flag of Venezuela in the building of the current military attaché to the tune of the national anthem, while a group of activists shouted slogans and held banners with messages such as “Hands off from Venezuela”.
In addition, in a symbolic way, before starting the press conference, Vecchio removed from the wall a painting with the photo of Maduro and, instead, placed one of Guaidó.
Vecchio explained that Colonel José Luis Silva Silva, dressed in uniform at the event, will continue to serve as military attaché, since he occupied when in January he announced that he swore allegiance to Guaidó as interim president and broke ranks with Maduro.
The colonel is one of the two members of the Venezuelan embassy who broke up with Maduro and will now be part of the Guaidó mission. In total, according to Vecchio, of the 54 officials who were part of the diplomatic corps of Venezuela in the country, 12 have turned their backs on Maduro.
From now on, Vecchio said, the political activity of the Guaidó mission will be coordinated from the attaché, while the New York consulate will gradually start providing services to Venezuelans abroad.
Speaking to the press in New York, Gustavo Marcano, who serves as Minister Counselor, explained that next week the beginning of the “consular registration of Venezuelans abroad” will be officially announced in order to have information on the “diaspora” Venezuelan and its needs.
Marcano, who declined to comment on the state of the venue, although he assured that videos are being recorded, some of which have already been published by him on social networks, he said that they have begun to “inventory” and take minutes of the situation of the consulate.
The representatives of Guaidó withdrew an image of Hugo Chávez from the facade of the consulate, in the middle of Manhattan, and replaced it with a sign that read: “Soon we will open the doors of this consulate, so that we can all go home.”
For the time being, the envoys of Guaidó have not yet occupied the building of the Venezuelan embassy in the historic neighborhood of Georgetown, Washington, but Vecchio announced that they will “recover” it in the “next few weeks”.
This Georgetown building houses the Venezuelan Embassy and the headquarters of the mission of this country to the Organization of American States (OAS), so if the country allows the entry of Guaidó envoys it could be in violation of international law, they said. to Efe diplomatic sources.
Maduro diplomats in the OAS remain in the country because the agency is based in Washington and continue to work there with their rights “intact,” said the same sources.
The seizure of the three diplomatic buildings occurred with the approval of the government, which offered Vecchio the “same support” as any other diplomatic mission, a spokeswoman for the State Department told Efe. (EFEUSA)