Britain reaffirms support for Guaidó as President of Venezuela prior to $ 1 billion gold proceedings

London — The British government reiterated on Monday recognizing opposition Juan Guaidó as Venezuelan president. This is a move by the Central Bank of Venezuela, backed by Nicolas Maduro, to return nearly $ 1 billion of gold stored in London.

The legal team on behalf of Maduro and Guaidó will appear in the British Supreme Court on Monday at the latest stage of a long-term tug of war, which is equivalent to about 15% of Venezuela’s foreign exchange reserves.

Central bank lawyers say selling gold will fund the response to the coronavirus pandemic and strengthen the healthcare system destroyed by the economic crisis of more than six years.

The Bank of England, where gold is stored in the vault, refused to release the gold, but in early 2019 the British government slammed Guido because of a fraudulent victory in the previous year’s Maduro presidential election. After joining dozens of other countries to help.

“The British government has made it clear that Juan Guaidó has been recognized by His Majesty’s government as the only legitimate president of Venezuela since February 2019,” the UK Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It was. For Monday.

“he [Guaido] A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said South American countries needed a “peaceful transition to democracy” and was the only individual recognized as having the authority to act on behalf of Venezuela as head of state. He added that there is.

The gold debate began in May 2018, when Maduro secured a re-election in a vote that the major opposition coalition boycotted and called fake. “We may have to tighten the economic twist in Venezuela,” said Boris Johnson, then British Foreign Minister.

The Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) has said it wants to bring back 14 tonnes of gold to the Bank of England (BoE), fearing increased sanctions against the Maduro government.

According to Sarosh Zaiwalla, a London-based lawyer representing BCV, BCV president Calixto Ortega visited London to discuss issues with BoE staff in late 2018, when they told Ortega his He said there was a problem with his authority.

Next February, Britain joined dozens of other countries to support Guaidó’s claim to be a legitimate president. In April, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on BCV, claiming that Maduro used BCV to “loot” Venezuelan assets and “enrich corrupt insiders.”

Prior to the sanctions, Venezuela has paid off some gold swap deals that BCV has agreed with Deutsche Bank over the past few years, people familiar with the deal said. As a result, 17 tonnes of gold stored in the BOE vault has been returned to BCV’s control, bringing it to 31 tonnes, about a quarter of Venezuela’s total gold reserves.

According to a chronology filed in a previous proceeding by Guaidó’s legal team, sanctions subsequently triggered the early termination of other gold swaps between BCV and Deutsche Bank, releasing more gold to BCV. ..

Guaido’s team has asked a British court to determine who has the authority to receive money on behalf of BCV.

The European Union, which Britain officially resigned earlier this year, was the president of Venezuela in January after losing its position as parliamentary head after the December legislative elections, even though the EU did not allow the vote. He said that Guaidó could no longer be legally recognized.

Mark Jones

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