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Iran Press TV

Venezuela in legal bid to release gold held by Bank of England

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 20 May 2020 3:46 PM

Cash-strapped Venezuela has launched legal action against the Bank of England (the UK's central bank) in order to secure the release of $1bn worth of Venezuelan gold.

The gold is being held by the Bank of England following the imposition of US and British sanctions on Venezuela.

Since the coronavirus outbreak Venezuela has tried to raise cash with a view to fighting the deadly pandemic.

However, the US government – which is determined to oust Venezuela's independent government – has stepped up its campaign of sanctions and wider subversion even amid the deadly global pandemic.

Venezuela wants the Bank of England to sell part of its gold reserves and it is calling for the funds to be transferred to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to facilitate the purchase of supplies for the fight against Covid-19.

To that end, Venezuela's central bank wants the transfer made "as a matter of urgency" and it reportedly filed a legal claim to that effect in a London court on May 14.

A London-based lawyer representing Venezuela's central bank, one Sarosh Zaiwalla, made the following curt statement: "With lives on the line, now is not the time to attempt to score political points".

Venezuela reportedly first approached the Bank of England in late 2018 requesting the release of its gold. The Bank of England formally rejected that request without giving a reason.

Interestingly, the Bank of England's refusal coincided with purported opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, illegally declaring himself as president.

Both the UK and the US promptly recognized Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela, a move that was designed to destabilize the country's legitimate government.

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