The judicial decision granting opposition leader Juan Guaidó control of Venezuela’s gold reserves in England has fueled the country’s political dichotomy amid celebrations of anti-Chavism and condemnation by the government of Nicolás Maduro.
The British High Court ruled that the “ad hoc” board of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appointed by Guaidó and headed by Ricardo Villasmil, and not by the one appointed by Maduro, chaired by Calixto Ortega, will have authority over the wealth deposited in the Bank of England (BoE).
The ruling, which sets a precedent, means that the Bank of England, which declared itself “in the midst of the parties” in dispute in this process, can receive instructions from the Guaidó team, who is recognized as interim president of Venezuela by almost 60 countries. , including the United Kingdom.
At a time when Guaidó’s popularity is not at its best, this sentence is produced, which is based on the “unequivocal” recognition of the opponent as “interim constitutional president”.
Guaidó has already won other legal battles abroad, in countries that recognize him as a legitimate agent, and has taken control of billions of dollars and Venezuela’s assets abroad, as was the case with Citgo, the main subsidiary of state oil company PDVSA.
The 36-year-old politician, who does not control any aspect of the bureaucracy within Venezuela, celebrated the decision and assured that in doing so he has protected these riches from “looting”.
“We protected gold reserves from the clutches of the dictatorship. Our reserves will remain as such and in England for their protection, the judicial process and their integrity. Gold protected from the looting of the regime!” He wrote on Twitter.
The opponent shared on the same social network a statement issued by the “Government” he presides over, in which they celebrate with “approval” the ruling.
“This decision contributes immensely in protecting the resources of Venezuelans from the clutches of the corrupt dictatorship (…) What happened is not only a victory for the people of Venezuela but it is a victory for the defense of the rule of law “says the brief of the so-called interim government.
The Maduro Executive, for its part, described as a “crime of extermination” that Judge Nigel Teare denied them access to gold.
“To deny gold to Venezuela to deal with the pandemic is to commit the crime of extermination,” Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said on public television.
The Venezuelan government asked the BoE months ago to transfer 930 million euros from the gold reserve to a fund of the United Nations (UN), indicating that the resources would be used in the fight against COVID-19, which until now leaves 6,062 infected and 54 deaths in the country.
The vice president pointed out that this decision is “absurd”, since diplomatic exchanges between Venezuela and the United Kingdom are made through the Foreign Ministry that responds to Nicolás Maduro and not the one that Guaidó named.
“The ambassador (of the United Kingdom in Venezuela), Andrew Soper, presents his credentials to the President of the Republic (Nicolás Maduro), the credentials signed by the queen (Isabel II),” he added.
Since Venezuela asked the BoE to transfer the resources, Rodríguez continued, 47 people have died and more than 5,000 have been infected with the new coronavirus.
He also noted that the interim government that Guaidó says he is chairing is “artificial and masks a project to strip Venezuela” of its wealth.
THE CASE CONTINUES
Guaidó’s team, although it has celebrated, made it clear in its statement that the judicial process in London continues “so these protected resources will remain in the United Kingdom and will not be used any time soon.”
Meanwhile, the so-called Bolivarian revolution has remarked that “it will immediately appeal the absurd and unusual decision” that, they insist, “intends to deprive the Venezuelan people of the gold so urgently needed to face the pandemic” by COVID-19.
Maduro, in addition, “has requested the organs of Justice” an investigation to determine criminal responsibilities in this case and plans to denounce “in all international instances this atrocious outrage”, or at least this was reported by the vice president on Thursday.
Chavismo, he stressed, will persist in the judicial battle to access this gold.