The UK’s central bank holds nearly $2 billion in gold that belongs to the government of Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants to access the gold, but the UK government refuses to hand it over since London recognizes Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela.
The UK supreme court opened a hearing on the matter on Monday, and London reaffirmed its recognition of Guaido. The court case is being fought between the board of the Central Bank of Venezuela that was appointed by Maduro and one appointed by Guaido.
“The UK recognizes Juan Guaidó as president of Venezuela and consequentially he is the only individual recognized to have the authority to act on behalf of Venezuela as its head of state,” the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said in a statement.
The US, UK, and other allies first recognized Guaido as interim president of Venezuela in January 2019. Since then, Guaido has lost what little support he had in Venezuela and has become increasingly irrelevant. In January of this year, after Guaido lost his seat in the National Assembly, the EU said it no longer recognizes him as president.
Washington’s regime change effort has been an utter failure. Besides the recognition of Guaido, which came along with a failed coup attempt, the US has also imposed a crippling sanctions regime on the country. While the pressure has done nothing to unseat Maduro, the sanctions have had a devastating impact on Venezuela’s civilian population.
Last week, the Biden administration recently took one small step to ease sanctions on Venezuela by allowing the country to import propane. But besides the propane move, President Biden is continuing the failed regime change policy of the Trump administration and recently reaffirmed the US’s recognition of Guaido.