Venezuela’s Central Bank (BCV) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) agreed to use part of the country $1.02 billion with of gold deposited in the Bank of England to acquire food and medicine to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, BCV President Calixto Ortega declared on Wednesday (27 May 2020).
The Latin American country and United Nations are seeking to release the gold held by the Bank of England, with Venezuelan authorities appearing at an expedited court hearing in London today (28 May 2020).
Mr Ortega stated the legal action has become necessary as the Bank of England again refuses to follow the instructions of the BCV to sell part of the gold held on their behalf.
Hugo Chavez removed Venezuela’s gold reserves from international Banks in 2011 and preserved gold assets in the Bank of England for financial operations. The Bank of England’s only task is to safely hold the gold on behalf of the BCV pending their instructions.
Mr Ortega denounced the subversion, “The Bank of England is not complying with the contract signed with the Central Bank (BCV) and is risking its prestige,”
“the Executive Vice President of Venezuela denounced the theft of Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England … we hope that global financial laws will be respected”, he said.
“We agreed with the UNDP that they would receive the funds directly,” Ortega explained. “It’s not my word; it’s not that I’m saying I’m going to buy food, medicine, and medical equipment. It is the United Nations that is saying it, and they are not going to lend themselves to anything shady, anything that is not neutral, independent,” he pointed out.
According to Venezuelan Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, since March 2019 the Bank of England has frozen 31 tons of gold belonging to Venezuela, due to the British government’s position of not recognising President Nicolas Maduro’s popular administration. She added that opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido is behind this manoeuvre to strip Venezuela of its sovereign assets and as part of his efforts oust the democratically elected government of President Maduro.
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Venezuela will also file a complaint with the International Criminal Court, for extermination and crimes against humanity. The gold retained by the Bank of England would be used to fight the disease, at a time when the blockade imposed by the US on the South American nation is increasing in strength, deliberately making efforts to tackle the pandemic all the more difficult.
The Young Communist League’s International Officer, Robin Talbot denounced the actions of the British State, “At a time when the world needs international solidarity and cooperation to combat the threat of COVID-19 to people’s health and livelihoods, it is imperative that the Bank of England drop this clear act of political manipulation against Venezuela, and allow the Venezuelans to use this gold to protect their people.“
“The Bank of England is essentially robbing this sovereign nation of its gold reserves at the behest of the brain-dead Trump administration and the self designated president Juan Guaido, who has been photographed with leaders of a Colombian drug cartel.“
“Our state bank unilaterally confiscating other nations’ gold calls into question its agenda and fitness for purpose.”
“Why is it sucking up to U.S. attempts to overthrow the elected Venezuelan government in partnership with people who take selfies with criminals?”
“The British Government should refuse to engage in the mickey mouse schemes of the United States, sort this nonsense out and demonstrate that it actually wants to play a part in resolving the COVID-19 global epidemic.”
Challenge News Desk
For more information on solidarity with the Venezuela and to get involved in solidarity work, visit the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.