Nicolás Maduro’s regime issued arrest warrants and seizure of assets against eleven officials of the interim government of Juan Guaidó, whom he accuses of conspiring to prevent Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England from being used by Chavismo.
The British court, which was to decide on the power of both parties over the reservations, ruled Thursday in favor of the president of the National Assembly, which is recognized as president of the country by more than 50 nations around the world, including the United Kingdom.
According to Tarek William Saab, Chavismo’s attorney general, the accused sought to “deprive the country of resources destined to combat the pandemic”, to those who say the precious metal that is stored in London would be destined. “The British government is part of a planning that has been carried out by the US government since January 2019,” said Saab, who also noted that Donald Trump influenced the judicial decision of the English court.
The officials to whom Saab imputes charges of treason, usurpation of functions and association to commit crimes are: Ricardo Adolfo Villasmil, Giacoma Cuius Cortesia, Manuel Rodríguez Armesta, Nelson Andrés Lugo and Carlos Antonio Suárez, members of the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appointed by Guaidó.
He also added the members of the prosecution, José Ignacio Hernández, Irene De Lourdes Loreto and Geraldine Afiuni. In addition, he added to the list the representative of Guaidó in London, Vanessa Neumann; to the chancellor, Julio Borges; already Carlos Vecchio, Guaidó’s ambassador to the United States. The last two already had arrest warrants against him.
Since Thursday, the interim government of Guaidó has the power to manage the 31 tons of gold -which have a collective value of USD 1,450 million- in the Bank of England. However, he clarified that the money will not be used in the short term, but will remain protected in the United Kingdom.
After listening to the parties, Judge Nigel Teare concluded that the Government of the United Kingdom has “unequivocally” recognized Guaidó as “interim constitutional president” of the Latin American country, and it is, therefore, the board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appointed by him that has authority over the reserves.
In this way, he rejected the argument of the dictatorship, whose lawyer, Nick Vineall, stated that Although the British Government declared in a statement in 2019 that it recognizes Guaidó as “interim constitutional president until elections are held”, in practice, “it maintains diplomatic ties” with the regime, even if I don’t approve it.
The opinion also served to resolve a lawsuit raised by Deutsche Bank in 2019, about which of the two parties could claim 120 million dollars derived from the termination of a swap contract, or exchange of gold.
However, the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela, chaired by Chavista Calixto Ortega, anticipated the will of the regime to appeal the decision.
“The Central Bank of Venezuela will ask the court for permission to appeal this judgment, considering that it completely ignores the reality of the situation on the groundAttorney Sarosh Zaiwalla announced in a statement.
In contrast, the Guaidó administration emphatically celebrated the decision, ensuring that the reserves are thus protected from “looting” by the regime.
“We protected the gold reserves from the clutches of the dictatorship. Our reserves will remain as such and in England for your protection, the judicial process and your integrity. Gold protected from regime looting!Guaidó wrote on his Twitter account.
British Justice recognized the authority of the Government of Juan Guaidó over Venezuelan gold deposited in the Bank of England
Juan Guaidó, after the decision of the British justice system on Venezuela’s gold: “We protected it from the clutches of the dictatorship”
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