Dispute over Venezuelan gold returns to London commercial court

Dispute over Venezuelan gold returns to London commercial court
Fecha de publicación: 
20 December 2021
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The commercial court will decide whether Guaidó has the right to control the gold reserves valued at more than one billion dollars, given that the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela declared illegal the board of directors of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) appointed by the opposition leader.

The case reached the British courts last year, after the Bank of England refused to deliver the gold to the BCV, arguing that there was a similar request from the banking board appointed by the illegally proclaimed president.

In a first instance, the London commercial court determined that Guaidó had the authority to dispose of the 30 tons of the precious metal, because the then British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt recognized him as interim president in February 2019.

The Court of Appeal overturned that verdict, however, on the grounds that the recognition of Guaidó as ‘de jure’ (by right) president did not preclude Venezuela’s constitutional president, Nicolás Maduro, from being recognized by the UK as the ‘de facto’ president.

In its decision on Monday, the British Supreme Court said it accepts London’s “clear and unequivocal” recognition of the Venezuelan opposition figure as the South American nation’s head of State, but considered that the trade court needs to consider whether to take into account the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s ruling that annulled the authority of the junta Guaidó appointed.

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