Four protesters arrested on Thursday for occupying the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. appeared in federal court on Friday where they were charged with trespassing and interfering with the US State Department’s protective functions, the Justice Department said.
Kevin Bruce Zeese, 64, Margaret Ann Flowers, 57, Adrienne Pine, 49, and David Vernon Paul, 70, were all released on various conditions, and are due to appear in court again on June 12.
Their appearance in court came one day after US law enforcement officers raided the Venezuelan Embassy to oust a small group protesting US foreign policy toward Venezuela.
The raid helped to pave the way for the diplomatic compound to be handed to the US envoy of opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Since mid-April, members of three activist groups have been occupying the embassy to oppose US efforts to oust President Nicolas Maduro in favor of Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president whom President Donald Trump also officially recognized as Venezuela’s leader in January 2019.
The Justice Department said the protesters at the embassy involved three groups: an activist group called Code Pink, the Embassy Protection Collective, and a third group known as Popular Resistance.
A US State Department spokeswoman said on Thursday that the government of Guaido had asked for US assistance in removing the protesters from the embassy.
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