Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday said that he ordered the strengthening of security at the United States' former embassy here despite US action against pro-government activists protecting the Venezuelan embassy in Washington.
Tensions between the United States and the Maduro-led Venezuelan authorities are high since earlier this year when Washington recognised Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido as the official interim President of the South American nation. Maduro has accused the US of plotting a coup to oust him from power, labeling Guaido as a US "puppet".
Following this, all US staff left the Caracas embassy, especially after Maduro severed diplomatic ties with the United States in the wake of the political crisis.
"I have ordered to boost the legal police protection of the building of the former US embassy which belongs to the US government. We will protect it because Venezuela follows conventions and international law. Criminals are sitting in the White House," Sputnik quoted Maduro as saying.
Embassy Protection Collective activists started living inside the Venezuelan embassy in Washington DC on April 10 in a bid to prevent the United States and the Guaido-led government from seizing the premises.
US Secret Service agents forcibly entered the embassy on Monday, ordering all activists to leave the premises or face prosecution and imprisonment. The four activists who ignored the threats and continued to remain were detained by the law enforcement officials earlier on Thursday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)