UK recognises Guaido as Venezuela's president, denies Maduro access to gold reserves

UK recognises Guaido as Venezuela's president, denies Maduro access to gold reserves

Thursday, July 02, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

LONDON,United Kingdom (AFP) — A judge in London said Thursday the British government had "unequivocally recognised" opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's president, in a battle over gold bullion held at the Bank of England.

The case was brought by the Banco Central de Venezuela to release US$1 billion of gold reserves to help fund the cash-strapped country's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bank of England said it was unable to act on instructions because it was "caught in the middle" of competing claims for the presidency after disputed elections in 2018.

A BCV board appointed by the government of Nicolas Maduro wants the gold released while a rival ad hoc board appointed by Guaido asked for the release to be denied.

Commercial Court judge Nigel Teare, sitting at the High Court of England and Wales, was asked to rule on who was authorised to make the demand -- Guaido or Maduro.

In his judgement, he said: "Her Majesty's Government does recognise Mr Guaido in the capacity of constitutional interim president of Venezuela and, it must follow, does not recognise Mr Maduro as the constitutional interim president of Venezuela."

Teare added that it was impossible to recognise both men as president.

Guaido has refused to accept the results of the 2018 elections, calling them flawed, and insists that he is interim president pending a fresh vote.

Some 60 countries have since recognised him as Venezuela's true leader, including the United States, which has imposed sanctions on Maduro and his inner circle.

Maduro succeeded Hugo Chavez after his death in 2013. He has ruled with an iron first but presided over the economic collapse of the oil-rich country.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, representing the Maduro-appointed BCV, said his clients would apply for an appeal.

They considered the judgement "entirely ignores the reality of the situation on the ground," Zaiwalla said.

"Mr Maduro's government is in complete control of Venezuela and its administrative institutions, and only it can ensure the distribution of the humanitarian relief and medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic," he said.

He added: "This outcome will now delay matters further, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people, whose lives are at risk."

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon