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UK commits ‘highway robbery’ of Venezuelan gold, says academic

The High Court ruling in favour of Juan Guaido is just the latest part of a US plot to overthrow the Venezuelan leader…

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Johanna Ross, journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland…

When it comes to Venezuela, Britain is suffering from split personality disorder. While the UK Foreign Office reportedly maintains ‘full, normal and reciprocal diplomatic relations’ with legitimately elected President Maduro’s government, and with Maduro’s UK ambassador, the British government has been actively supporting the self-appointed US-backed ‘leader’ Juan Guaido, who led the coup against Maduro in 2019.

Last week the High Court in London ruled that Juan Guaido was ‘unequivocally’ recognised as the President of Venezuela. There’s just one problem with the ruling however: Juan Guaido isn’t the President. He may have tried hard; he talked the talk, and walked the walk (clearly modelling himself on a cross between Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, with sleeves rolled up like Barack Obama). He had just the right youthful, liberal image to front the US led regime change campaign in the South American nation. But last year’s coup, supported by the US and Colombia, dramatically backfired after the Venezuelan military refused to back him.

Nevertheless, it has been in the British government’s interest to prop up the would-be Venezuelan leader. The High Court’s verdict was in a case brought to the court by Maduro’s government, which is trying to access $1bn of its gold currently held by the Bank of England. It’s pretty straightforward – the bank doesn’t want to pay out, and is using Maduro’s ‘contested’ leadership as a reason not to do so. Suddenly it matters that Maduro’s presidency is questionable, never mind the fact that he was democratically re-elected in 2018.

Juan Guaido claims that the funds from the Bank of England gold would be used to ‘prop up the regime’, while the Venezuelan government has insisted that the money would go towards managing the coronavirus pandemic. Maduro has even said that once the gold is sold the money will be transferred to the UN Development Programme. In any case, the reason seems irrelevant; when was the last time you or I had to justify a withdrawal from our own bank accounts?

I spoke recently to the National Secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and senior lecturer at the University of Middlesex, Dr Francisco Dominguez, who said to me that the move by the High Court to block the transfer of Venezuelan gold constituted nothing more than ‘highway robbery’ and he condemned the UK’s use of Guaido in this case as a ‘legal device to steal Venezuela’s assets’. He stated:

‘It is abundantly clear the UK’s recognition of Guaido’s farcical “interim presidency” has nothing to do with “democracy” or “human rights” but with “colonial pillage”.  After all, there is nothing democratic or decent about Guaido: he colludes with Colombian narco-traffickers; he attempted a violent coup d’etat’; contracted US mercenaries to assassinate President Maduro and several Venezulean government high officials, vigorously promotes sanctions and aggression against his own nation, and he reeks of corruption.’

Dr Dominguez also pointed to direct collusion of the UK government with Guaido, as was recently uncovered by a British journalist. Newly obtained documents, exposed by John McEvoy, have recently shed light on the murky connection between the British government and the aspiring Venezuelan president. It was uncovered that a Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Unit named the Venezuela Reconstruction Unit has been created which has not been officially acknowledged by either country. In the documents it was revealed that  Juan Guaidó’s representative in the UK, Vanessa Neumann, had spoken with FCO officials about the sustenance of British business interests in Venezuela’s ‘reconstruction’. A conversation of this nature obviously stinks of regime change, given the fact Venezuela sits on the largest proven oil reserves in the world, and that Neumann has previously links to oil companies. Britain is placing its stake in Venezuela’s demise.

Formally the UK government has a different position. In relation to Venezuela’s gold, former Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick said back in 2019 in response to the parliamentary question ‘what the legal basis was for the Bank of England’s decision to freeze approximately 1125 gold bars stored by the Venezuelan central bank in November 2018.’, that it was a ‘matter for the Bank of England’. Jenrick maintained that HM Treasury only has direct control over the UK government’s own holdings of gold within its official reserves, which are held at the Bank of England.’

However the facts paint a different picture. John Bolton’s White House memoir The Room Where It Happened’ reveals that UK Foreign Secretary at the time, Jeremy Hunt ‘was delighted to freeze Venezuelan gold deposits in the Bank of England so the regime could not sell the gold to keep itself going.’  As Bolton unashamedly admitted: ‘These were the sort of steps we were already applying to pressure Maduro financially.’ The former National Security Advisor relates in his book how proud he was to have been the driving force behind the 2019 power grab: ‘I was heartened that Maduro’s government promptly accused me of leading a coup’. Bolton openly describes how they discussed ways of delegitimizing the Venezuelan government as Trump reportedly said ‘Maybe it’s time to put Maduro out of business’.

The evidence suggests that the UK complied fully in Bolton’s masterplan to unseat Maduro, and is continuing to work with the US to undermine the Venezuelan leadership; only in truly subtle British fashion, surreptitiously, hoping no-one would notice. Who knows, when, if ever, the Venezuelans will see their gold. But you can be sure they won’t be investing with the Bank of England any time soon.

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Aleksandar Sarovic
July 9, 2020

The elite rule the western world secretly protected by governments, so there is no way to stop them before the western world collapse. There will not be peace until we seriously work on conspiracies.

July 9, 2020

 “….when was the last time you or I had to justify a withdrawal from our own bank accounts?” (from the article)

When was the last time you asked to withdraw U$5,000 from your bank?

They don’t like it. They are shocked and surprised. They ask questions as to why you want that much of your own money. They stall. They ask their superiors. They ask you to come back when they have the money available. They don’t trust you / me with our own money.

I don’t live in the U$$A anymore.

Sunny Skies
Sunny Skies
Reply to  Rye
July 9, 2020

Oh, that’s exaggeration. By law, they’re required to ask and note your reason for the withdrawal of 5k and above.

July 9, 2020

The belief that precious metals stored in the western banks is now as dead as the Dodo bird and this will only now hasten other countries to withdraw what they have in the UK before it also disappears. The faith in western banking systems it self is now in serious question which was once paramount and guarded against being tarnished.
The UK should write a book and call it How to cut one’s throat in two easy lessons. I am sure that many are now looking with uneasiness at those tax havens run by the western countries.

Olivia Kroth
July 9, 2020

Why is Venezuela’s gold again or still in London? The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had it all repatriatred to Venezuela. How did it turn up in London again?

John Ellis
July 9, 2020

Exactly what is wrong with capitalism enabling everyone to compete for wealth and to maximize pleasure by accumulating all the power and glory of wealth that your brains and sex appeal can muster? Wealth is the excess property we hoard above what is needed for a comfortable life, the property that rightfully belongs to starving children. If everyone desired to own no wealth and to give all they could give to those who have less, we would achieve happiness and establish equality in the only way possible. True morality is to have compassion and give charity in a way that… Read more »

Aleksandar Sarovic
Reply to  John Ellis
July 9, 2020

People were taught by the elite to compete in everything all their lives. It has become a value to them, and now you tell them it is wrong. It does not work this way and never will. One needs to use the competitive need of people that cannot be changed quickly, to develop a new value which will serve society. This is the market for work.

Rue Brittania
Rue Brittania
July 9, 2020

What do I think? That no country in their right mind will have any further dealings with the Bank of England, lest they be surreptitiously ‘deprived’ of their deposits too.

Yet another of the many and exceptional ways the UK has devised to shoot itself in the foot. Way to go, lapdogs.

July 9, 2020

I’ve been to Venezeula prior to Chavez and always get a kick out of Pompeo et al’s talk of ‘returning to a prosperous nation’.

Venezuela was always on the cusp of societal catastrophe. Prosperous, other than for the few percenters, was never its calling.

Hawaii guy
Hawaii guy
July 10, 2020

I warned 2 years ago Maduro, if you don’t arrest gweeedo, you’re just letting them drag you and your people though the streets. Get it done Mr President, arrest him and his conspirators. The gold isn’t coming back, so no point in not letting him rot in prison where he can wipe himself with the bars, but that’s it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Hawaii guy

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