The UK Court of Appeal has overturned an earlier court ruling which denied Nicolas Maduro access to Venezuela’s gold worth about $1 billion kept at the Bank of England. The court did not recognize Maduro as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.
Court Rules in Favor of Central Bank of Venezuela Over $1 Billion Gold
The English Court of Appeal reportedly overturned an earlier High Court ruling Monday concerning Venezuela’s gold worth about $1 billion kept at the Bank of England.
The Bank of England had denied Nicolas Maduro’s access to Venezuela’s gold kept at the bank since both Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó had laid claims on the gold. The Bank of England then asked the English High Court to decide who should be granted access to the gold.
The High Court ruled in July that Britain’s recognition of Guaidó as “constitutional interim president of Venezuela” was conclusive. In early 2019, the British government joined dozens of nations in backing Guaido, claiming that Maduro’s election win the previous year had been rigged.
Denied access to Venezuela’s gold, Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV), backed by Maduro, sued the Bank of England in May to gain control of the gold. The BCV says that it plans to sell some of the gold to finance Venezuela’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the proceeds from the sale would be transferred directly to the United Nations Development Programme to procure humanitarian aid, medicine and equipment to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. However, Maduro’s opposition alleged that Maduro wants to use the money to pay off his foreign allies.
Following Monday’s judgment, the case now goes back to the High Court for it to determine more definitively which of the two rival leaders is in charge. The ruling emphasizes that the court needs to determine whether the U.K. government recognizes Guaidó as President of Venezuela for all purposes and does not recognize Maduro as President for any purpose, or it also recognizes that Maduro can also exercise some or all of the powers of the President of Venezuela.