UK government backs Guaidó claim in Venezuelan gold fight

Jul 19, 2021, 8:17 AM | Updated: 1:26 pm

LONDON (AP) — The British government sought Monday to prevent Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro from gaining access to nearly $2 billion of gold held by the Bank of England as the U.K. Supreme Court started hearing a case that hinges on the question of who should be considered the Latin American nation’s president.

Britain told the court that its recognition of opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president is clear and longstanding, and therefore he is the person authorized to decide how the gold held by Britain’s central bank should be used. The government’s statement came after a lower court said the U.K.’s recognition of Guaidó was “ambiguous.”

“The U.K. government has the right to decide who to recognize as the legitimate head of a foreign state,” the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a statement. “The U.K. recognizes Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela and consequentially he is the only individual recognized to have the authority to act on behalf of Venezuela as its head of state.”

Maduro has demanded access to the gold to help his cash-starved nation fight the coronavirus pandemic. But the Bank of England has refused to hand it over, citing the British government’s recognition of Guaidó.

Guaidó has sought to preserve the gold stash at the Bank of England to keep it out of the hands of the Maduro government, which it contends is illegitimate and corrupt.

Guaidó, who was the leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly, challenged Maduro’s claim to the presidency, arguing that his 2018 election was rigged and invalid. Guaidó says he is the country’s interim president under provisions of the constitution that allow the head of the legislature to take power until free elections can be held.

Countries including the U.S. and the U.K. have recognized Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela, although China, Russia and many others haven’t and Maduro holds effective power within Venezuela.

The battle over the gold is being fought out between two competing governing boards of the Central Bank of Venezuela, one appointed by Maduro and the other by Guaidó.

Guaidó, who is represented by the law firm Arnold & Porter, is arguing there is nothing ambiguous about the U.K. actions.

Maduro’s lawyers argue that he’s still president of Venezuela and that the U.K. has recognized this by continuing diplomatic relations with his government.

Leigh Crestohl, a lawyer representing the Maduro board, said the U.K. government’s position threatens the attractiveness of the City of London and the Bank of England as a secure place for foreign assets.

“International observers to this case may be surprised by the possibility that a unilateral statement of political recognition by the U.K. government can dispossess a foreign sovereign of assets deposited in London without any recourse in the English court,” Crestohl, a partner at the London-based law firm Zaiwalla & Co., said in a statement. “This is all the more so where that recognition ignores the reality on the ground.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Colorado man shoots, kills bear after it entered his home

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado man had a rude awaking early Saturday morning when a roughly 400-pound (181-kilogram) bear flipped the lever doorknob to his home and rummaged through some dog food, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday. The homeowner, Ken Mauldin, grabbed a gun and shot the bear multiple times until it collapsed […]
18 hours ago
An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Wednesday, Aug. 10, 202...
Associated Press

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses. The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Illegal border crossings fall in July but remain high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline. Flows were still unusually high, particularly among nationalities less affected by Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants legal rights to seek asylum on grounds of preventing […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Law enforcement personnel escort the Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer All...
Associated Press

Trump Org. CFO expected to plead guilty in NY tax case

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops: Suspects in attack on elderly woman are ages 11 to 18

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three children ages 11, 13, and 14 and an 18-year-old beat and robbed a 70-year-old Asian woman last month inside her San Francisco apartment building and two of them have been arrested, police said Monday. The woman was outside her Chinatown building when the suspects approached her on July 31 and […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones rallies pro-Trump supporters, Nov. 5, 2020,...
Associated Press

Case against Alex Jones can proceed, Connecticut judge says

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday cleared the way for a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut to proceed against Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The case was filed by relatives of some victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones has falsely claimed the […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
UK government backs Guaidó claim in Venezuelan gold fight