The sun had just sunk below the horizon on Wednesday night when the lights were lit in the Venezuelan embassy in Washington.
In the usually quiet street of the elite, cheering waves up and down Georgetown's neighborhood have been at the center of a worsening conflict between supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó and left-wing activists opposing US intervention and supporting President Nicolás Maduro.
Without electricity, the activists living in the building adapt to the latest challenge in their one-month occupation of the embassy. Organizers of Code Pink, a leftwing organization known for its theatrical and provocative protests, said the bills were paid in full by the owners of the building: the Venezuelan government led by Maduro.
The group has since been in the Embassy April 10 at the invitation of Maduro government officials. About two weeks after Code Pink's residence, Venezuelan and Venezuelan-American protesters began to gather outside. They have not left since then.
The embassy, a four-story brick building on a quiet side street in the Close to the Chesapeake and the Ohio Canal, has become the scene of a deputy power struggle that reflects the international struggle for the future of Venezuela.
Activists said in a statement Thursday morning that the embassy did not have running water, but later, electricity was the only utility that was shut down. A spokesman for DC Water said that water is not closed to the property.
Pepco declined to comment on the shutdown of the electricity.
The lights went out on Wednesday night after DC police closed 30th Street NW to dump several neon men in the middle of the street into a manhole.
Protesters from Pro-Guaidó celebrated the irony of a blackout in the Venezuelan embassy – a circumstance that has become a daily occurrence in the South American country.
"It is absolutely illegal and dangerous for the US to cut off water and electricity, deny access to food Those of us who are lawfully in the embassy building as guests of the Venezuelan government," said Paki Wieland, a member of Code Pink , "We are the legal tenants of this message with the permission of the Venezuelan government."
Several law enforcement agencies, including the intelligence service, have been stationed around the clock in front of the embassy to secure the building and keep the secret service officials have said.
Code Pink activists accuse Venezuelan protesters of exposing racist and sexist insults during confrontations at the embassy. They have also accused several pro-Guaidó demonstrators of violent urgency or behavior.
Pro Guaidó protesters say the Code Pink supporters pushed a pregnant woman who was involved in a human chain near the embassy – with it Food deliveries did not reach the doors of the embassy – and held a press conference Wednesday detailing an alleged attack on a 58-year-old protester who was treated for hospital injuries. Others say that they were exposed to cyberbullying by followers of Code Pink.
"This was an attack without warning and without provocation," said Robert Nasser, a member of Lucha Democratica. "We are peaceful. We are nonviolent.
This story is being updated.