HAVANA TIMES – Britain’s High Court on Thursday denied Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s central bank access to gold worth a reported 1 billion dollars, reported dpa news.
Maduro’s Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV) petitioned the court after the Bank of England, which holds the gold, refused to release it because of a competing claim by officials working for opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The court ruled that the British government had “unequivocally recognized” Guaido as president.
Lawyers for the BCV said they planned to appeal the ruling, the BBC reported.
The British central bank has held the gold since Britain and the United States imposed sanctions on Maduro’s government.
Britain and other Western nations have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president since January 2019, when he declared himself the legitimate head of government and began trying to oust Maduro.
After meeting Guaido in London in January, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab backed his efforts to bring a “peaceful and democratic resolution” to Venezuela’s political crisis.
The US sanctions have isolated Venezuela’s economy, which was already battered by years of mismanagement and corruption.