Back in November 2018, the Bank of England refused to release Venezuela's gold holdings due to its insistence that standard measures to prevent money-laundering be taken - "including clarification of the Venezuelan government’s intentions for the gold."
“There are concerns that Mr. Maduro may seize the gold, which is owned by the state, and sell it for personal gain,” the newspaper said.
The legal battle for 32 tons of Venezuelan gold, currently residing in the vaults of The Bank of England, began in January 2019 when Guaido proclaimed himself president of the South American country, and Maduro's embattled regime, desperate to hold onto the dwindling cash pile it has abroad, was stymied in its bid to pull $1.2 billion worth of gold out of the Bank of England.But even before this,
Then in July of this year, we reported that when the Venezuelan military refused to break with Maduro, choosing instead to back him over Guaido, Guaido gradually faded into irrelevance. He's still there, and still claiming to be the legitimate ruler of Venezuela, but instead of looking like a credible alternative to Maduro, he's sounding more like a deranged street preacher proclaiming that he is the one true messiah.
Despite the fact that Venezuela's leadership is no longer in doubt, a lawsuit brought by the Venezuelan central bank against the British government seeking the release of the Venezuelan gold sitting in the BoE's vaults was again denied. Instead, the court ruled that it could only release the gold to the legitimate government of Venezuela.
Since Britain recognizes Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate ruler, the British government has legal standing to treat the Maduro government like an illegitimate regime, allowing the gov't to essentially freeze and seize government assets at will.
Sarosh Zaiwalla, senior partner at Zaiwalla & Co, representing the Banco Central de Venezuela, said his clients would appeal and challenged the court judgement for “entirely ignoring the reality of the situation on the ground”.
In October, in a decision in favor of the Venezuelan people, the London court annulled the July ruling that granted Guaidó control over the gold bars, because it was “not clear” if Guaidó really was the one who ruled in Venezuela...
Then in mid-November, Guaidó’s lawyers filed an appeal before the British Supreme Court, seeking to annul the decision issued on October 5 by the London Court of Appeals, in order for it to ask the government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to clarify who he really recognizes at the head of Venezuela, since he maintains diplomatic and consular relations with the legitimate government of President Maduro .
And now, as The Orinico Tribune reports, the British Supreme Court accepted the appeal issued by the lawyers for Juan Guaidó, and ruled in favor of hearing his appeal regarding control of Venezuela’s gold reserves, valued at $1.3 billion, deposited in the Bank of England.
The gold remains the property of Venezuela’s people.
“Permission to appeal has been granted on all points,” a spokesman for the highest court told international media.
This further complicates the judicial process that seeks to determine who will gain control of Venezuelan gold, either the legitimate government of President Maduro, or Guaidó’s imaginary government, a fiction created by the United States some have argued to oust President Nicolas Maduro and steal Venezuelan assets.
On the other hand, in the ruling on Thursday, the British Supreme Court urged Guaidó to fulfill the £400,000 (about $550,000) of legal expenses that he refuses to pay.
Some analysts argue that this might be a new strategy from the British government and the Bank of England to seize the money that belongs to millions of Venezuelans and was in custody of the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV).
“The gringos and the Europeans are descendants of the pirates that plagued the Caribbean a few centuries ago,” an international affairs expert told Orinoco Tribune. “Apparently we can’t expect any different from them. They just want to rob as much money as they can from the Venezuelan people—who could really use it—but that won’t affect Venezuelans’ resolve to be sovereign, and to never again be a US or European neo-colony.”
“This should serve as new evidence that the Bank of England - aside from all the legal paraphernalia - is not a safe place for the money of any government,” he added.
Ultimately, we imagine Hugo Chavez, who took strides to repatriate most of Venezuela's gold held in the vaults of foreign central banks, is rolling over in his grave. And Maduro is learning once again that gold doesn't have any owners - only spenders. He who controls the vault, controls the gold.