The United Kingdom and Venezuela: Tensions, Alliances and Gold

This content was published on February 04, 2021 – 13:31

Judith Mora

London, February 4 (EFE). Unlike the European Union, the United Kingdom has maintained its support for the opposition Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela after the December 6 elections, but pressure is mounting to define his next steps before consolidation. To the government of Nicolas Maduro.

After recognizing Guaidó, the leader of the National Assembly at the time, in January 2019 as the responsible president of Venezuela, the United Kingdom, in keeping with the United States, created the controversial Venezuela Reconstruction Unit (PRU) with an alleged mission to advance its interests ahead of a possible regime change in Caracas.

With the new context in the South American country and the European Union and US President Joe Biden waiting to speak, this project and the future support of the opposition leader remain in the air, which in turn will affect the outcome of the ongoing litigation over control of Venezuela’s gold deposited in the Bank of England (BoE).

Francisco Dominguez, secretary of the Campaign for Solidarity with Venezuela and an expert on Latin American affairs at the University of Middlesex in England, Francisco Dominguez, believes that the British position is “unsustainable” after Maduro strengthened himself in those legislative elections, in which Guaido did not appear and whose authority is considered part of society International.

However, in an interview with Efe, Julio Borges, whom Guaidó has appointed as Presidential Commissioner for External Relations, is confident that London will now act as a “bridge” between Washington and Brussels to further promote the departure of the Chavista president.

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For its part, the British Foreign Office refused to comment to explain its strategy.

Venezuela Reconstruction Unit

One of the most controversial aspects of the conservative government’s policy towards Venezuela is the establishment of this special unit in the Foreign Ministry, whose existence was revealed last May by the “Canary” news site.

In response to a parliamentary question about the Workers’ Party, the Executive Authority acknowledged in June that it had organized it due to the “unstable economic and humanitarian situation” in the Caribbean country, and confirmed that it had informed the Maduro government – which it denied.

Documents obtained by the portal under the Freedom of Information Act revealed contacts between members of the unit, which is allegedly led by former Caracas ambassador John Saville, and the Venezuelan opposition, particularly Guaido’s representative in London, Vanessa Newman.

According to these sources, Newman had offered the British potential commercial advantages in exchange for political assistance and had even suggested that Venezuela give up its historic claim to the rich and contested lands of Guayana Iquipa.

From his exile in Colombia, Borges assured Efe that the former actress, who had resigned in December, made this offer of her own accord, which caused an uproar in Caracas: “She did not consult with anyone and I am sure it was a one-sided idea of ​​her freehand. As we say, “he declares.

According to Dominguez, through its diplomatic maneuvering, “the United Kingdom has positioned itself to participate in the colonial plunder or plunder that would have occurred in Venezuela if the Maduro government had fallen or fallen.”

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In his view, the British government, which tends to follow US foreign policy “in practically everything,” has joined the regime change plan sponsored by former President Donald Trump out of economic ambition and “ideological hostility” towards the socialist system.

Gold control suit

Who the CEO in London recognizes as the leader of Venezuela – Guaidó or Maduro – is the key to English justice to determine the political side close to reaching their guarded Venezuelan assets in the UK.

According to Sarush Zaywala, the founder of the law firm representing the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela appointed by Maduro, headed by Calixto Ortega, to Evie, there is “indirect evidence” that the Conservative government “could influence” the decision of the independent Bank of England, not to hand over Gold reserves claimed by Ortega in 2019.

One such indication, he notes, is found in former Trump advisor John Bolton’s “The Room It Happened” book, which reveals that former British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt was “happy to cooperate” with the US plans. Maduro, with measures such as “freezing Venezuela’s gold deposits in the Bank of England, so that the system cannot sell them in order to support itself.”

In a phone conversation with Evie, Borges admitted that the United Kingdom had helped the opposition as part of a deep-rooted commitment to “democracy in Venezuela”.

“Today this relationship is special as well,” he says. “There are important issues such as protecting Venezuelans’ assets so that they do not fall into Maduro’s hands, and there too, England’s position was very firm.”

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“Foreign Minister” Guaido hopes that London maintains its recognition of the opposition leader and trusts that Biden will do so as well, in order to build “a single international bloc, for the free world, to pressure Maduro perhaps with greater force.” EFE

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