- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won an appeal from the British court ruling that the legal battle for more than $ 1 billion in gold reserves held by the Bank of England needs to be reconsidered.
- Britain’s second highest court overturned an earlier ruling recognizing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president.
- The UK’s recognition of Venezuela̵
- Earlier this year, Maduro requested gold stored in Bank of England vaults to help his money-hungry nation fight the COVID-19 pandemic. But his administration was denied access.
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The Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro won an appeal from the British court on Monday ruling that the legal fight for more than $ 1 billion in gold reserves held by the Bank of England should be reviewed.
The British Court of Appeal overturned the decision of a previous lower court of which the UK recognized as the legitimate president of Venezuela.
Venezuela has been in a crippling political crisis since the highly contested presidential election in 2019.
Previous statements by the UK government about recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who the US and about a dozen other countries recognize as Venezuela’s president, have been misinterpreted in terms of effective control over the country, the ruling says. .
Britain’s recognition of the de facto leader “is in my opinion ambiguous, or at least less than unambiguous”, judges led by Judge Stephen Males said in a statement.
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In July this year, the UK said it recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president citing a “one-voice” doctrine. “The judiciary and the executive must speak with one voice,” said high court judge Nigel Teare. “There cannot be two presidents of Venezuela”.
In early 2018, Maduro approached the Bank of England to remove gold worth around $ 550 million – or 16.5 tons – from its vaults and return it to South America. Since that time, the value of one ounce of gold has increased by more than 40%.
It is common for governments in emerging market economies to store gold with central banks in more developed economies.
But Guaidó begged the UK not to allow access to Venezuelan gold reserves held by the Bank of England by President Nicolas Maduro’s “illegitimate and kleptocratic regime” while trying to safeguard UK holdings.
Again this year Maduro has asked for gold to help his money-hungry nation fight the COVID-19 pandemic. But the central bank refused to hand it over.
The Bank of England declined to comment on Business Insider.
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