Turn Guaido and grab gold

by Farooque Chowdhury | Published: 00:06, Jul 11,2020


NOWADAYS, anyone can take away anyone’s gold. It just needs turning Guaido and master’s backing. Master’s law is there to help Guaido turn a gold grabber.

The United Kingdom’s English High Court has ruled that Juan Guaido is Venezuela’s legitimate president. According to the court, Nicolas Maduro is not the country’s president.

The discovery of a self-proclaimed president without constitutional backing has been made through a legal battle in the court. The legal battle was for gold bullion worth $1 billion owned by the people of Venezuela.

The Bank of England holds about $2 billion of Venezuela’s gold for safekeeping. The BoE rejected Venezuela’s request to withdraw Venezuela’s gold in January. It was reported that the BoE acted according to the US officials’ suggestion.

The BoE measures forced the Banco Central de Venezuela, Venezuela’s central bank, to file a claim against the BoE.

In May, the Venezuelan bank filed a claim demanding that the United Kingdom release more than $1 billion in gold to address the emergency that has arisen out of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Both the Venezuelan government and the Guaido gang are claiming the gold.

Commercial court judge Nigel Teare, sitting at the High Court of England and Wales, was asked to rule on who was authorised to make the demand — Maduro or Guaido.

The court said on July 2 that the United Kingdom ‘unequivocally recognises’ Guaido as Venezuela’s president.

In his judgement, Justice Nigel Teare said: ‘Her Majesty’s government does recognize Mr Guaido in the capacity of constitutional interim president of Venezuela […].’

Venezuela demands its gold back so that the gold can be sold to buy medicine and equipment to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venezuela has said the funds would be directly transferred to the United Nations Development Programme to ensure that it is not used for any other purpose.

But the Guaido gang claims the gold. The gang claims that Maduro will use the money to pay off his allies.

Guaido, a Venezuelan lawmaker, proclaimed himself as the country’s interim president in 2019. That ‘interim’ period has expired. He has no following in the country, which was repeatedly shown by none but Guaido himself in the gatherings he announced to hold more than once. Even, his self-proclamation has no legal and constitutional basis.

Despite the facts, the imperialist camp recognises Guaido as Venezuela’s president. The number of countries recognising Guaido as ‘the president’ is about 60, and the camp includes, no doubt, the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom’s act is a faithful-disciple-following-his-master business.

Despite the ‘recognition’, many countries in the imperialist camp maintain full diplomatic relations with the Maduro government. The United Kingdom is among these countries.

Can a government keep diplomatic relations with a government while recognises another individual as president? Yes, that can be done in the imperialist world order; and the order has its legal backing — the court.

The Venezuela government made moves to remove its gold stored in the United Kingdom after the 2018 election, which Maduro won and the opposition boycotted.

Boris Johnson, then the United Kingdom’s foreign minister, said at the time that the United Kingdom ‘may have to tighten the economic screw on Venezuela.’

As the United States increased its sanction-assault on Venezuela, the Maduro government informed the BoE that Venezuela wished to take its gold back.

Lawyers for the Guaido gang insisted that Guaido has the right to assert claim to the gold as the United States and its allies recognise him as the nation’s leader.

Sarosh Zaiwalla, representing the Venezuelan bank, said his clients would apply for an appeal. He said: The judgement ‘entirely ignores the reality of the situation on the ground. Mr Maduro’s government is in complete control of Venezuela and its administrative institutions, and only it can ensure the distribution of the humanitarian relief and medical supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.’

He called on the court to disentangle law and politics, adding that approval of a government has nothing to do with its formal recognition.

He added: ‘This outcome will now delay matters further, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people, whose lives are at risk.’

With approximately 400,000 gold bars — worth nearly $250 billion — the BoE is the second-largest gold storage facility in the world after the New York Federal Reserve. Not all these gold bars are of the United Kingdom. Many countries keep their gold there as the countries consider the place safe. Venezuela is one of these countries. Now, a safe-keeper is denying the gold to the owner.

The BoE prides itself in never having had any gold stolen in its more than 320-year history. But, what happens now?

The stealing of gold from the BoE’s vaults is not the action needed. What is needed is employing a Guaido gang — faithful servants.

The ruling has implications. It comes out as imperialist masters can employ a Guaido in a country against a government it dislikes and the appointed Guaido will have fortunes at opportune places. That is the benefit of turning into a Guaido.

With this exposure of the ‘logic’ of law, countries keeping their gold in other places considered safe will now think twice while persons in countries will search for paths to turn another Guaido. Turning into Guaido brings in gold! But the imperialist world order, its legal system and interpretations and diplomatic deals are once again exposed and the trust many countries keep on masters are eroding.


Farooque Chowdhury writes from Dhaka.

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