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19 Mar, 2019 16:56

Guaido’s envoy occupies diplomatic buildings in US, says leader’s arrest will ‘accelerate’ change

Guaido’s envoy occupies diplomatic buildings in US, says leader’s arrest will ‘accelerate’ change

The Venezuelan opposition’s diplomatic envoy to the US has claimed that the arrest of his boss, Juan Guaido, for interfering in the electoral process would only “accelerate” the pace of change in the country.

Carlos Vecchio, appointed by Guaido to head the diplomatic offensive in the US against President Nicolas Maduro, made the comments as he and other representatives took over several Venezuelan diplomatic buildings on Monday.

Access was gained to two defense ministry buildings in Washington DC and one consular building in New York.

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The buildings were vacated by diplomatic and consular staff in January after Maduro broke-off relations with Washington for its recognition of Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president.

Answering questions under a freshly hung portrait of Guaido inside the office of Venezuela’s military attaché in the US capital, Vecchio told RT that he didn’t “have any doubt” that change would soon come to Venezuela.

When asked what would happen if Guaido was arrested as a result of investigations into his alleged interference in the country’s electoral system, Vecchio said it would be a positive for the opposition.

“I would say that would have a positive impact on the change in Venezuela. That will accelerate the change if they [Maduro’s government] decided to do it.”

Vecchio had earlier announced that the opposition hoped to gain access to Venezuela’s Washington embassy “in the days to come.” The US State Department has also given its blessing to the takeovers, as part of its efforts to oust Maduro from power and replace him with a more compliant leader.

However, the takeover was slammed by Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. In a statement on Twitter, Arreaza called it a “forced and illegal occupation,” and demanded that US authorities correct the “irregular situation” immediately.

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The ministry added that the occupation violated international laws that protect diplomatic buildings.

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