Somehow a disproportionate share of global gold ends up in London. From John McEvoy at consortiumnews.com:
The U.K. stripped the assets of a foreign state and transferred them to political actors engaged in regime change, John McEvoy reports. The result has been a form of collective punishment for people in Venezuela.
In late December, Venezuela’s leading opposition parties voted to oust Juan Guaidó as “interim president” and dissolve his parallel government.
This was clearly not the ending the U.K. government had in mind.
Four years ago, the British government made the bold decision to recognise Guaidó as Venezuelan president and proceeded to facilitate his legal battle to seize roughly $2 billion of gold held in the Bank of England.
Indeed, the U.K. government insisted at every turn that it recognised Guaidó — and not Nicolás Maduro — as Venezuelan president. In turn, Guaidó’s lawyers argued that he was authorised to represent and control the assets of the Central Bank of Venezuela held in London.
Throughout this time, Guaidó paid his U.K. legal costs by drawing on millions of dollars of his country’s assets originally seized by the U.S. government. In other words, Guaidó tried to seize Venezuelan state assets with looted Venezuelan state assets.
Meanwhile, it seems certain that the Foreign Office also used a significant amount of public funds to sustain its backing of Guaidó.
Now that Guaidó has been ousted, the legal argument for transferring the gold to the Venezuelan opposition has effectively disintegrated. Despite this, the gold remains frozen in the Bank of England, with no clear resolution in sight.
Whatever happens next, this case sets a precedent which could have far-reaching consequences: the U.K.’s coup weapons now include asset stripping a foreign state, and transferring those assets to political actors engaged in regime change.
This will surely serve as a warning to any state which plans to store its gold in the Bank of England.
The recognition of Guaidó was a key prerequisite for the Bank of England’s refusal to release Venezuela’s gold.
Guaidó had never run for presidential office. Yet on Jan. 23, 2019, he swore himself in as Venezuelan “interim president,” using Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution to declare that Maduro had abandoned his post and thereby left an “absolute vacuum of power.”
This vacuum, claimed Guaidó, would have to be filled by the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly — a post he occupied.
Without the support of the U.S. government, Guaidó’s legal gymnastics would probably not have gotten him very far. However, the Donald Trump administration moved quickly to recognise Guaidó and began pressuring the so-called international community to follow suit.
The day after Guaidó’s self-swearing in, then U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Washington and met key members of the Trump administration including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
[Related: Pompeo — A Monster Slaying Monsters Abroad]
The political crisis in Venezuela was high on the agenda. Before meeting with Pompeo, Hunt told the press that “the United Kingdom believes Juan Guaidó is the right person to take Venezuela forward. We are supporting the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Argentina to make that happen.” This was a strong statement – but not yet recognition.
Documents obtained by Declassified show that Hunt was privately thanked by Pompeo and Bolton for this. However, Britain’s contribution to toppling Maduro would go further.
Remember when Bergoglio got that blasphemous hammer and sickle crucifix from Evo Morales? That was odd.
The City of London is up to all kinds of evil while others get blamed for it.
Ancient Chinese Secret-Gweilo Qiqiu aka the White Ghost balloon was a shot across the bow for CPUSA.