Rival of Venezuelan President urges Bank of England to block sale of £1billion in gold to South American country to stop opponent ‘looting the nation’s assets’
- Juan Guaido declared himself interim President last Wednesday during a rally
- He has support of many Latin American and Western countries like US and UK
- But President Nicolas Maduro refuses to give up power and called it a US ‘coup’
- Guaido has asked Theresa May and Bank of England to block £1bn payments
- He says Maduro would use money to ‘repress and brutalise’ Venezuelan people
Venezuela’s self-styled leader has called on the Bank of England to block the sale of £1billion in gold to the troubled South American country.
Juan Guaido, rival to current president Nicolas Maduro, has written to Prime Minister Theresa May and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, urging them to keep hold of the stocks.
He fears the corrupt Maduro regime may try to loot the country’s offshore assets as his grip on power wavers.
Mr Guaido said: ‘I am writing to ask you to stop this illegitimate transaction. If the money is transferred … it will be used by the illegitimate and kleptocratic regime of Nicolas Maduro to repress and brutalise the Venezuelan people.’
Juan Guaido has called on the Bank of England to block the sale of £1billion in gold to Venezuela, which he says would be used by President Nicolas Maduro to ‘repress and brutalise the Venezuelan people’
Juan Guaido (left) declared himself interim leader of Venezuela last Wednesday but Maduro (right) has refused to hold fresh elections or relinquish power
Neither the Bank of England nor Downing Street would comment.
Mr Maduro has been disowned by several Western nations and Latin American neighbours that accuse him of undermining democracy – and a growing number of countries have recognised Mr Guaido as legitimate interim leader of the nation.
A crackdown on mass protests in the country has seen more than 40 people killed, the United Nations said.
Fears of military intervention in Venezuela were heightened yesterday after a slip-up by a top Donald Trump aide.
Mr Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, says he has spoken repeatedly with President Trump and called for ‘great pressure’ on the repressive Maduro regime.
US National security adviser John Bolton holds his notes during a press briefing at the White House, which read ‘5000 troops to Colombia’
Mr Bolton has warned that any violence against Mr Guaido ‘would be met by a significant response’ from the United States
And the prospect of the US using force to oust Mr Maduro increased after White House national security adviser John Bolton was seen on TV holding a notepad containing the note ‘5,000 troops to Colombia’, which neighbours Venezuela.
The Trump administration made clear yesterday that it may use military action against Venezuela as it strengthened the hand of opposition leaders in the collapsing country. Mr Bolton and a White House spokesman said that ‘all options’ were on the table.
Mr Bolton has warned that any violence against Mr Guaido ‘would be met by a significant response’ as the US gave him control of Venezuelan assets and property held in US bank accounts.