British Court Annuls Ruling Granting Guaidó Access to Venezuelan Gold

October 5, 2020

UK conservative PM Boris Johnson with want to be president Guaido

The Court of Appeals of England has annulled the decision granting the gold reserves of Venezuela to the opposition deputy Juan Guaidó, thus admitting the appeal filed by the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV).

Last July, the British High Court considered that it was the “ad hoc” administration of Guaidó that had the right to access the 31 tons of gold, valued at more than one billion dollars, deposited in the Bank of England, in London. According to the court, the decision was due to the fact that the United Kingdom recognized Guaidó as the holder of the Venezuelan government and not Nicolás Maduro.

With this new ruling, the Court of Appeals affirms that the verdict was wrong in considering that the recognition of Guaidó by the British government as de jure president excluded the possibility of recognizing Maduro as the de facto president.

In view of this situation, the court ordered that the justice system carry out a detailed investigation explaining in detail the diplomatic relations between Venezuela and the United Kingdom to determine whether London recognizes that Maduro continues to exercise “de facto” powers as head of state.

What happened?

In July, after the decision of the British High Court Judge, Nigel Teare, who stated that Guaidó was “unequivocally” the “interim constitutional president” of Venezuela and that his “ad hoc” administration was the one that could access the reserves, the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appealed the decision, which he classified as “absurd and unusual”.

Among the arguments of the BCV defense to appeal the ruling was that London had not broken diplomatic relations with Caracas and that both governments maintain their ambassadors in their capitals.

This legal battle dates back to 2018, when the Venezuelan government asked for access to its reserves to honor its financial commitments, in the midst of U.S. sanctions and was denied. Later, in 2019, it made a new request for the gold and there was another refusal by the Bank of England, which alleged that the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, only recognized Guaidó as the legitimate leader.

Following this decision, the opposition deputy appointed José Ignacio Hernández as his legal representative abroad and asked the bank’s authorities not to hand over the ingots to the Maduro government, alleging that “they would be used for corrupt purposes”.

Already in May of this year, the BCV had filed a lawsuit against the London bank with the aim of obtaining and selling part of its gold in order to transfer the resources to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and thus acquire food and medicine necessary for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: RT, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau