Venezuela's rival presidents prepare to battle over gold in London vaults

Section:

By Angus Berwick and Mayela Armas
Reuters
Friday, July 19, 2020

In the vaults beneath the Bank of England, where foreign nations stash parts of their vast gold reserves, lie 1.7 billion euros ($1.9 billion) of disputed gold bars. Two parties claim access to them.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says they belong to his administration's central bank. His rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the British government recognizes as Venezuela's rightful leader, say the bars are his to control.

... Dispatch continues below ...



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Next week a British commercial court will begin deciding whose claim is just, after the Venezuelan central bank sued the Bank of England to gain access. A decision is not expected until August or September, the judge wrote in a May 28 ruling.

At stake is a sizeable chunk of the Maduro government's dwindling overseas assets. Lawyers representing the central bank say much of the gold would be sold to fund Venezuela's response to the coronavirus, which threatens to overwhelm a health system gutted by six years of economic crisis.

The opposition alleges Maduro wants to use the gold to pay off his foreign allies, which his lawyers deny. Over the past two years Maduro's government has removed some 30 tonnes from its reserves in Venezuela to sell abroad for much-needed hard currency, according to people familiar with the operations and the bank's own data. ...

... For the remainder of the report:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-gold-feature/venezuelas-riv...

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