A UK court has denied Venezuela’s Maduro access to the country’s gold stored in Britain’s bank vault.
In London, a judge said the UK government had “unequivocally recognized” opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president.
Consequently, Maduro’s effort seems fruitless before the court.
Although the case was brought by the Banco Central de Venezuela, asking to release $1bn in gold reserves to help fund the cash-strapped country’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, a rival ad hoc board appointed by Guaido asked for the release to be denied.
The Bank of England said it was unable to act on instructions because it was “caught in the middle” of competing claims for the presidency after disputed elections in 2018.
Commercial Court judge Nigel Teare, sitting at the High Court of England and Wales, was asked to rule on whether Mr. Guaido or Mr. Maduro had the authority to make the demand.
The judge in reaching his conclusion said, “Her Majesty’s Government does recognize Mr. Guaido in the capacity of constitutional interim president of Venezuela and, it must follow, does not recognize Mr. Maduro as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela.”
Teare added that it was impossible to recognize both men as president.
Meanwhile, Sarosh Zaiwalla, representing the Maduro-appointed BCV, said his clients would appeal the decision.
They considered the judgment “entirely ignores the reality of the situation on the ground”, Zaiwalla said.
“Mr. Maduro’s government is in complete control of Venezuela and its administrative institutions, and only it can ensure the distribution of the humanitarian relief and medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
He added: “This outcome will now delay matters further, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people, whose lives are at risk.”
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
Do you want to add feedback to this story?
Please add a comment in the e-mail box below or send email to email@example.com
Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheReadersBureau
Send us a message on WhatsApp at 646-874-7976 or Call us at 201-500-7715