UK Denies Venezuela $1bn of Its Gold Needed for Food and Medicine
The United Kingdom’s High Court has blocked the Venezuelan government’s effort to recover 31 tons of the nation’s gold held by the Bank of England (BoE).
In a ruling handed down on Thursday, the court said it “unequivocally recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president,” rejecting the Maduro government’s right to repatriate the gold belonging to the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV).
The BCV vowed to immediately appeal the “outrageous” decision, accusing the High Court of “trying to deny the Venezuelan people of the gold urgently needed to face the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Since late 2018, the BoE has refused to return the gold in its vaults, which is valued at an estimated US $1.2 billion.
On May 14, Caracas filed a lawsuit to access the reserves, which it plans to sell and transfer the proceeds to the United Nations Development Programme in order to import food, medicines and healthcare equipment. While Venezuela has not been hard hit by COVID-19 so far, analysts warn that the country’s healthcare system – battered by years of under-investment and US sanctions – is ill-prepared to face the pandemic.
Lawyers for the Venezuelan government argued that while the UK recognized Guaido as head of state last year London still recognizes Maduro de facto, maintaining regular consular relations with Caracas. According to the Venezuelan legal team, the court ruling ignores “the reality of the situation on the ground” in which President Nicolas Maduro’s government is “in complete control of Venezuela and its administrative institutions.”
For his part, Judge Nigel Teare stated that 10 Downing St. had “unequivocally” recognized Guaido as “interim president” and that under the “one voice” doctrine the judiciary was bound to the government’s position.
Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president” of the South American country in January 2019 and was recognized by the US and several dozen of its allies.
The Trump administration subsequently moved to block Venezuelan state assets abroad, including millions of dollars held in bank accounts as well as Veneuzelan state oil firm PDVSA’s US-based subsidiary, CITGO.
Washington has also imposed crippling economic sanctions aimed at toppling the Maduro government, including a sweeping trade embargo with secondary sanctions targeting third party actors like Russia’s Rosneft.
The US government has pressed its allies to comply with the unilateral measures. In his newly released memoir, former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton revealed that in January 2019 he coordinated with UK Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, who he said was “delighted to cooperate on steps [the UK] could take, for example freezing Venezuelan gold deposits in the Bank of England.”
To Whom did the UK Ambassador in Caracas Present his Credentials?
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez recalled this Thursday, July 2, that the ambassador of the United Kingdom to Venezuela gave his credentials to the legitimate president Nicolás Maduro and not to the self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaidó.
That is the hardest evidence to determine who the UK recognizes as Venezuelan President in reference with the attempted looting of Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England and the UK regime, according to diplomatic experts.
This was indicated in a press conference from Miraflores Palace in which she explained how the deputy Juan Guaidó and his legislative bandits intend to deliver the territory of the Essequibo and the gold belonging to the Venezuelan people to the United Kingdom.
On February 5, 2018, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Venezuela, Andrew Soper, presented his credentials to President Maduro, during a ceremony at the Miraflores Palace. Despite this, Soper supports the self-proclaimed deputy because he is the one who wants to deliver the Venezuelan wealth and territory.
She also explained that the legitimate authorities “are in Venezuela, and in Venezuela they exercise their political power over our territory, where their offices are, their officials, where they have letterhead communications.”
In this sense, she showed the country the record of Vannessa Newman, Juan Guaidó’s “diplomatic representative” before the British government. In addition, she revealed that this fraudster intends to deliver the Essequibo in exchange for support to Guaido.
El Reino Unido miente. Jamás mencionaron una Unidad de Reconstrucción de Venezuela, ni lo hubiésemos permitido. Nos enteramos a través de @TheCanaryUK. Disfrazaron el propósito desestabilizador de su visita con falsas reuniones internas con su Embajada. Aquí las pruebas: pic.twitter.com/arq3OEtRZA
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 11, 2020
“A few weeks ago there was a diplomatic incident with a hidden “UK unit for the reconstruction of Venezuela”. The Venezuelan chancellor presented the visa application requested by UK Foreign Office officials to enter Venezuela, they requested the visa from the government of Nicolas Maduro, if you want to prove who is the President of Venezuela that must suffice any lack of clarity,” a diplomatic expert said to Orinoco Tribune.
Source: Orinoco Tribune