'May 24th was a day of hard-earned celebration for Carlos Vecchio, the man tasked with leading the Trump administration’s coup attempt in Venezuela from the US capital. His face was largely obscured in the grainy Twitter video of the moment he and his gaggle leaned out of a third-story window and hoisted a brand new flag onto Venezuela’s former diplomatic mission in Washington DC, but Vecchio was clearly beaming as a small crowd of supporters cheered from below.
Finally, on that swampy spring afternoon, Vecchio had arrived as Venezuela’s “ambassador” to the United States. Or had he?
Vecchio’s quest to illegally seize and occupy Venezuela’s US embassy had been a far more arduous battle than he likely imagined. A group of anti-war activists had managed to prevent his entry for over a month by establishing a presence inside the building at the invitation of Venezuela’s elected president, Nicolas Maduro. Their goal was to block Vecchio and his cohorts from taking over the premises until a diplomatic resolution regarding the mission’s status could be reached.
For 31 days in April and May, the activists managed to stymie Vecchio’s entry, mounting a standoff which transformed DC’s affluent Georgetown neighborhood, the site of the embassy, into a frontline in the diplomatic assault against the UN-recognized Maduro government.
Viva Venezuela libre desde nuestra Embajada. Se acerca el final de la dictadura. El cambio ya llegó . pic.twitter.com/OG5zKB9ITb
— CARLOS VECCHIO (@carlosvecchio) May 24, 2019
Vecchio’s moment of glory finally arrived on May 16, thanks to three dozen federal US agents clad in night vision goggles, helmets, and flak vests, which looked as though they were gearing up for a Waco-style raid. When they barged into the embassy, arresting the four remaining activists inside, Vecchio and his team could finally lay claim to the premises. It was a symbolic victory, to be sure, but one that kept the momentum going.
Though the Western media’s cameras have focused on self-declared “interim president” Juan Guaido, Vecchio was instrumental in laying the foundation for what would become the Trump administration’s coup.'
Read more: From Exxon to ‘ambassador’: How Carlos Vecchio became Venezuela’s top coup lobbyist