12 Keyar Street, O'Malley.
New home for Venezuelan Embassy in Canberra after eviction, punch-up
September 30 2017
Venezuelan consular activities in Canberra have been reactivated after a new home was found for the country's diplomatic mission to Australia.
The announcement is good news after a month of turmoil for Venezuela's Australian-based delegates, in which the site of the old embassy was blockaded, an acclaimed athlete was charged with assault, the mission was forced to find new lodgings, and consular activities were suspended.
The country's consular activities in Australia were briefly shelved earlier this month when the diplomatic mission was evicted from its O'Malley embassy in a rental dispute.
It has since found a new home nearby.
The properties owner blockaded the nation's former Culgoa Circuit headquarters by parking a ute and heavy machinery at its entrances.
The blockade has since been lifted, although evidence of it remains in the form ute across a driveway, and a bobcat and section of fence which had been use to block a door.
On Friday, painters were working inside the building and the diplomatic corps is understood to have formally vacated the premises earlier in the week.
It is understood the dispute had been over an unpaid rental bill said to be in the tens-of-thousands.
It is unknown if the bill has been settled.
Fairfax Media sought comment from the mission but did not receive a response.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade declined to comment on the situation.
"DFAT does not comment on such matters, which are between the embassy concerned and the property owner," a spokesperson said.
Venezuela is teetering on the brink of civil war and in the throes of a severe economic and political crisis, with triple-digit inflation and shortages of food and medicines.
Previously, a notice, written in Spanish, had appeared on the diplomatic mission's webpage which said consular activities had been temporarily suspended due to "technical reasons".
But a new statement, uploaded on Wednesday, said consular services had been reactivated and a new headquarters had been located nearby at 12 Keyar Street, O'Malley.
The new embassy appeared to be shut on Friday afternoon.
"However, due to the transfer of our equipment, appointments for the renewal of passports have been postponed and will be reactivated in the coming days whenever we re-establish the connection with the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Aliens and we can guarantee that it is operative to provide an optimal service," a translated section of the online statement said.
"We would like to inform you that, due to the characteristics of this new venue, we will be able to attend a larger number of appointments and consular procedures, which will allow us to continue improving the service we provide."
The blockade enraged Venezuela's top cross country skier who attacked the 74-year-old landlord at the O'Malley property on September 12.
César Augusto Baena Sierraalta, 30, pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court on Tuesday to common assault over the attack.
Court documents said Baena and the landlord had argued over the blockade, which had prevented access to the building by staff and members of the public, before the Venezuelan punched the man in the face.
The strike caused the man to fall to the ground and Baena – who set a new Latin American record in the Kangaroo Hoppet race in Falls Creek, Victoria, last month - fled on foot.
Police located and arrested him in nearby parkland soon after.
During a police interview, Baena made full admissions, telling police he felt the blockade had insulted Venezuela and violated its sovereignty.
He said he had become enraged due to feeling Venezuela had been "disrespected" and punched the landlord when he refused access to the embassy.
Baena will return to court for sentence next month.
https://www.google.co.ve/amp/s/amp.canb ... yrct0.html
12 Keyar Street, O'malley ACT 260612 Keyar Street, O'Malley
RENTED $2,350 PER WEEK
Listed by Berkely Residential
190 days listed
5 beds, 5 baths, 2 parking
Land size 1200 sqm
Internal size 550 sqm
Property type House
https://www.domain.com.au/property-prof ... y-act-2606