British justice has given a boost to the Venezuelan opponent Juan Guaidó by ruling that the United Kingdom unequivocally recognizes him as president of Venezuela. This resolution occurs in the context of the dispute over the gold of that South American country that is guarded in the vaults of the Bank of England. Guaidó had filed an appeal about who, if he or Nicolas Maduro, they have legitimate control of the bullion. The Supreme Court, however, referred the case to the Commercial Division of the Superior Court to determine to whom the delivery of the gold is authorized, which means that the process will be extended in time and the reserves will remain under the control of the Banco de England until the dispute over its true owner is finally resolved, a process that could drag on for months.
At the Bank of England, one of the largest providers of the gold custody service worldwide, Venezuela has stored approximately 31 tons of gold, valued at around 1.6 billion euros. At the beginning of May of last year, Venezuela asked the Bank of England to release the reserves saying that they were necessary for the country to face the Covid-19 pandemic, and on the 14th of the same month the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN of the South American country, Samuel Moncada, reported the filing of a lawsuit against the English bank in a London court. “Venezuela sues the Bank of England in a British court for stealing 31 tons of Venezuelan gold in its safekeeping,” he declared. But Guaidó, recognized as interim president by more than fifty countries, including the United Kingdom, had repeatedly requested that the Bank not return the reserves, in order to protect them.
In a statement published on the website of the National Communication Center of Venezuela, Guaidó celebrated the ruling that “determined that, since February 4, 2019, the United Kingdom recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim constitutional president of Venezuela, until elections can be held. credible presidential elections. The Court also determined that, since February 4, 2019, the United Kingdom does not recognize Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela, ”the text reads. “We recognize and respect the rule of law that prevails in the United Kingdom and in the litigation for the control of the reserves of the Central Bank of Venezuela in the United Kingdom,” he continues, adding that “we will undertake with dedication the next phase of the trial to prove the illegality of the decisions taken by the Supreme Court of Justice of Maduro against the Ad-Hoc board of the BCV (Central Bank of Venezuela and achieve its ignorance by the courts of the United Kingdom ”. Once achieved, the legitimate BCV would assume the protection of the reserves against the Maduro regime, ”the opposition leader explained. The TSJ is under Maduro’s control. Guaidó warned that “we will continue to be dedicated to exercising our constitutional duty to protect the assets of the Republic for future generations and promote free and fair presidential elections in Venezuela, with the purpose of ending the suffering of the Venezuelan people and rescuing our democracy.”
A previous decision that the UK had unequivocally recognized Guaidó as interim president and therefore responsible for assets, was annulled by the court of appeal in October 2020, what Maduro saw as support for his cause. This new twist has now been a blow and from their ranks they did not take long to react. “The recognition of Guaidó goes against the reality on the ground. Their appointees do not have the capacity to act on behalf of the Venezuelan central bank effectively, nor to represent it in any international legal proceeding, “said the lawyers who act for the board of the Venezuelan Central Bank backed by Maduro, who considered that the UK should “stop interfering in the internal affairs” of its country.