Bank of England Refuses to Return $1.2B Venezuelan



The latest developments in Venezuela’s attempts to prevent a coup d’état by the U.S. has seen them unsuccessfully attempt to withdraw their gold, currently holed-up in the Bank of England. Bloomberg reported that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the national security advisor to President Donald Trump, John Bolton, pressured their British counterparts to freeze the Venezuelan assets. The move was supported by opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido, who illegally declared himself “interim president” this past week, in an unconstitutional move that was endorsed by Trump himself.

The head of Venezuela’s central bank Calixto Ortega, traveled to London in mid-December to seek access to the nation’s assets, admitting defeat this week after U.S. officials asserted pressure on their British counterparts, to prevent the release of US$1.2 billion in gold.

Earlier this week, democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro denounced the U.S. for initializing a coup d’état against Venezuela, using “democracy” as a faux objective for the actual desire of access to Venezuelan energy and mineral resources, such as oil, gas, and gold.

In a recent teleSUR analysis article, Why Is Venezuela a Key Geopolitical Target for The US? the author cites Maduro’s claim that “They have the ambition for oil, gas and gold. We tell them: these riches are not yours, they are for the people of Venezuela and that’s how it will be forever,” he said in a speech moments after Guaido declared himself “interim President.”

Maduro also slammed the U.S. for endorsing Guaido, and ordered its diplomats to leave Venezuela.

According to RT, Venezuela holds more than $8 billion in foreign reserves. The amount of Venezuelan gold kept in the Bank of England doubled in recent months, growing from 14 to 31 tons.

In November of last year, it was reported that Nicolas Maduro planned to certify 32 gold fields in an attempt to avoid sanctions placed by the U.S. “Everything suggests that Venezuela will be the second biggest gold reserve on planet Earth,” he said during a televised speech.

Maduro, along with his economic team, announced Venezuela is installing 54 gold processing plants with new technologies to avoid the polluting use of mercury. According to their predictions, the plants will bring Venezuela about five billion dollars in 2019.

The Bank of England, along with press officials for Pompeo, declined to comment on this week’s most recent revelations.

President Nicolas Maduro has also rejected an international ultimatum to call elections within eight days and said opposition leader Juan Guaido had violated the country’s constitution by declaring himself leader.

Speaking of European countries joining the interventionist policy of the United States and its right-wing allies in Latin America President Maduro stated, “Europe has an insolent position, unsustainable, unpresentable. And it should withdraw its ultimatum. No one gives us ultimatums,” in an interview with CNN Turk shot on Jan. 26 and aired on Jan. 27.

“If they want to leave Venezuela, they should all go, and now. Venezuela will continue its path, fortunately we don’t depend on Europe. And those arrogant, overbearing attitudes, looking down on us, because we are ‘sudacas’ (derogatory term for South Americans), inferior to them.“

He went on to slam the leaders of Europe as “sycophants, kneeling behind the policies of Donald Trump. All of Europe is kneeling at the feet of (U.S. President) Donald Trump, it’s as simple as that, and especially over Venezuela.”

Commenting on the opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido who has declared himself, with no constitutional basis, an “interim president,” the Venezuelan president said, “I think he violated the constitution and all the laws” adding that Guaido’s actions will be referred to the judicial power.

“Now, I am not the organ of justice in the country. I am not the national attorney general. It will be up to the attorney general’s office, the civilian power, the main court of justice, the judicial power, to decide the steps to safeguard the constitution. And we will wait. These are matters that will sort themselves out according to justice.”

The United States and its allies recognized 0Q1opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the country’s “interim president” after he self-proclaimed himself as such on Jan. 23, an illegal and unconstitutional move and a rejection of the second term of  Nicolas Maduro in office which he won after last year’s May elections.

Since then Guaido, the United States and other governments in the region have been calling on the Venezuelan military to oust Maduro. However, the country’s defense minister and top military brass have come out in support of Maduro and his government.