Juan Guaidó urges UK to safeguard Venezuela’s gold

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Bank of England is refusing to hand over $1.2bn in bullion to Maduro

Gideon Long, Andean Correspondent

The leader of Venezuela’s opposition has written to Theresa May and Bank of England governor Mark Carney urging them not to send $1.2bn from any sale of Venezuelan gold reserves to “the illegitimate and kleptocratic regime” of President Nicolás Maduro.

Juan Guaidó, who has been recognised as Venezuelan president by the US and around a dozen other countries, said the transaction would be fraudulent and the money would be used “to repress and brutalise the Venezuelan people”.

“Maduro has stolen a huge quantity of state assets,” he wrote in the letter, dated January 26. “There is no doubt that he will, if allowed, also steal the assets held by the Bank of England, which rightly ought to be saved to support the recovery of Venezuela.”