This Friday, July 29, the British judiciary ruled in favor of the “ad hoc board of directors” of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV), appointed by former deputy Juan Guaidó, who never had any power to appoint any directive body of the BCV. This ruling reiterates the British policy of withholding the Venezuelan gold reserves in Bank of England, valued at about $2 billion.
The ruling was issued by Judge Sara Cockerill of the High Court of London, who determined that the British judiciary does not recognize the resolutions of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of Venezuela that had declared Guaidó’s illegitimate designation of BCV board of directors null and void.
According to Judge Cockerill, there is no legal basis to recognize the resolution of the TSJ. Therefore, the British judiciary denies the Venezuelan State’s request for access to the gold reserves held in the Bank of England.
Judge Cockerill announced the verdict after a 4-day trial, which was held during July 15-18.
While reading out the judgement, Cockerill noted that while the resolutions of TSJ could be recognized, doing so “would conflict” with the British “One Voice Doctrine” that obliges British state agencies to proceed in the same way in foreign policy.
Although the judge ruled in favor of the board appointed by Guaidó, the 32 tons of gold will remain withheld in the Bank of England since she did not authorize them to access the reserves.
Now, a new hearing is expected to determine whether Guaidó’s board will be able to dispose of the Venezuelan assets. The legal defense of the Venezuelan government will also appeal the ruling.
The legal battle for the Venezuelan gold dates back to 2018, when the Venezuelan government requested access to its reserves to meet its financial commitments amid the sanctions imposed by the United States government, but that request was rejected.
Then in 2019, the BCV made a new request but the Bank of England refused again, alleging that at that time, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recognized former deputy Guaidó as “interim president” of Venezuela.
Venezuela condemns British court’s ruling
Venezuelan Executive Vice President Delcy Rodríguez comdemned the ruling of the British judiciary on Venezuelan gold, which is illegally withheld in England.
In an interview with VTV, Rodríguez denounced the ruling, and added that it is not about any type of judicial control, but rather corresponds to a fiction created by a fictitious government, headed by former deputy Juan Guaidó.
“Today there was a really unusual decision by the British court, this decision is subordinated and gagged by the decisions of the British Crown,” said the vice president.
She also announced that the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) will go to the pertinent legal instances to appeal the ruling.
Rodríguez further added that President Nicolás Maduro will present convincing evidence in this case in the coming days.
#LoDijo || Vicepdta. @delcyrodriguezv: Hago un llamado al gobierno británico, tienen la oportunidad de rectificar, de no seguir con esta farsa de que Juan Guaidó es el presidente de un país, no lo es y no lo va a ser nunca, el pueblo venezolano lo sabe y él no goza de su afecto. pic.twitter.com/3dvhcFJCvR
— Vicepresidencia Vzla (@ViceVenezuela) July 29, 2022
She called on the British government to correct its course and not continue with the farce that Juan Guaidó is the president of any country.
“He is not and he will never be [president], the Venezuelan people know it and he does not have their affection,” she said.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune