Venezuela Gold Maduro Government Wins In UK Appeals Court

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Venezuela Gold Maduro Government Wins In UK Appeals Court

A British appeals court has overturned a judgement which said the UK had recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s president.

The ruling is a victory for Nicolás Maduro, who was re-elected to a second term as president in a 2018 election widely dismissed as rigged.

At the heart of the legal battle is the question of who controls $1bn (£773m) of gold stored in the Bank of England.

The case now goes back to the High Court.

What did the appeals court say?

Judge Stephen Males on Monday set aside the judgement by the High Court in July which had ruled that the UK had “unequivocally recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president”, rather than President Nicolás Maduro.

In his ruling in July, High Court Judge Nigel Teare had said that there was “no room for recognition of Mr Guaidó as de jure president and of Mr Maduro as de facto president”, meaning that even though Mr Maduro remained in charge in the presidential palace in Caracas, the UK government had decided to recognise Mr Guaidó.

But Judge Males said that the UK’s recognition of Mr Guaidó “is to my mind ambiguous, or at any rate less than unequivocal”.

How did British courts get involved in the first place?

Despite the country’s oil riches, Venezuela’s economy has been in freefall for years due to a combination of government mismanagement and corruption, further exacerbated by international sanctions.

https://www.bbc.com

As Venezuela produces very little apart from oil, it needs to import goods from abroad, for which it needs access to foreign currency – or gold.

The BoE argued that it was caught in the middle of two rival claims for the gold, one from the government of Mr Maduro and one from Juan Guaidó, who declared himself acting president of Venezuela last year and is recognised as such by more than 50 nations, including the UK.

Venezuela Gold Maduro Government Wins In UK Appeals Court

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