UK Supreme Court rules Guaidó is Venezuela’s president, but the case is not over
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Monday maintained opposition leader Juan Guaidó should be recognized as the truthful President of Venezuela, which would grant him access to his country’s gold in custody at the Bank of England. But instead of making a decision on that issue, the case was sent back to a lower court for further judicial proceedings.
Therefore, the almost US $ 1.7 billion worth of gold bars shall for the time being remain at the vaults where they are.
A five-judge panel unanimously agreed that British courts must honor the UK’s decision to recognize Guaidó as interim president. Both Guaidó and Nicolás Maduro, who is effectively in power in Caracas, have appointed separate boards to oversee Venezuela’s central bank and both have laid claim to the gold.
Now the case was sent back to a lower court to determine whether the Guaidó board has any legal standing after Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice declared Guaidó’s appointments unconstitutional.
Guaidó welcomed Monday’s ruling and vowed to prove the illegitimate government’s Supreme Court is nothing to go by. Guaidó, as Speaker oif the National Assembly, said the 2018 elections were rigged and therefore Maduro was no longer an elected president. He was sworn in as acting president pending free presidential elections, which have never taken place so far.
A number of countries, including the US and UK, have recognized Guaido’s claim, while lawyers for the Maduro Board insist on their client’s right to oversee the central bank’s foreign assets. They also criticized Guaidó’s legal challenge on the argument that ythose resources could be used to help Venezuelans going through COVID-19.
In a press release, the Supreme Court said on Monday that British courts were bound to accept that the British government does not recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s president “for any purpose.”