|Volume 50 Number 21, June 6, 2020||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
In a statement to a virtual public session of the UN Security Council on May 20, Samuel Moncada, Permanent Representative of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations, elaborated on the existence of a "Venezuela Reconstruction Unit" within the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Recent revelations in the international media had shown, Samuel Moncada said, that through this "Venezuela Reconstruction Unit", conversations were held between British officials, Venezuelan opposition figures and the conspirators of the armed incursion of May 3, promoting the need for guarantees of preferential status to be given to British companies in Venezuela after that act of aggression was successfully carried out. This new evidence that has now come to light, along with the looting of more than $1.7 billion in Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England, demonstrates once again, Samuel Moncada stressed, that the British government is an opportunistic accomplice in the colonial looting of Venezuela's riches. Furthermore, British warships remain outside Venezuelan territorial waters, in a hostile and confrontational attitude, along with Dutch, French and US warships, conveniently disguised as anti-drug operations, but actually intended to illegally establish a naval blockade against the Venezuelan people. The combination of military provocations with propaganda operations is a repeat of the old trick of plausible denial used in covert aggression, he explained.
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) reports that Venezuelan authorities appeared in court in London on May 28 to demand that the Bank of England comply with instructions to sell part of the 31 tons of gold it holds on behalf of Venezuela. Venezuelan Central Bank President Calixto Ortega reported on Wednesday that an agreement had been made with the United Nations Development Programme that it would receive the proceeds of the sale, and these would be used to buy food, medicine and health imports to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic and save many lives.
The Bank of England, VSC explains, is arguably in breach of its contract with the Central Bank of Venezuela by refusing to comply with requests for repatriation of the gold on the pretext that the legitimacy of the Venezuelan government has been questioned. Such justification is demonstrably false, since the government of President Nicolas Maduro is recognised by the United Nations. Delcy Rodriguez, Venezuelan Vice-President, stated that behind the Bank of England's decision to freeze the Venezuelan gold lies a British government manoeuvre to strip Venezuela of its assets as part of an attempt at "regime change".
According to the law firm Zaiwalla & Co, the Venezuelan monetary institute already requested in April that gold be transferred directly to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
For the gold to be repatriated so that Venezuela may use its own gold reserves to fund vital supplies of food, medicine and other medical supplies is entirely just. It is not the first time that the Bank of England has used custody of monetary gold for hostile political ends. The gold must be repatriated immediately.
* * *
The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign is organising an online event this Monday, June 8, from 19:00-20:30 BST - "Venezuela - Exposing UK complicity in Trump's regime change agenda" - with guests from Venezuela, investigative journalist John McEvoy, Dr Francisco Dominguez, Susan Grey (VSC), Colin Burgon of Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America & Chair Tony Burke (Unite).
The organisers say:
Recent revelations of a 'Venezuela reconstruction unit' are just the latest in a long line of signals the British Government is working to Donald Trump's agenda for regime change.
From hosting coup-plotter Juan Guaido to the Bank of England's refusal to return gold held by the Venezuelan Government, Britain is again playing the role of the US's chief ally in pushing for intervention against a sovereign country in breach of international law.
This meeting will hear from journalists, campaigners and others based in Britain and Venezuela on exactly how far Britain has gone in promoting regime change, and what we can do to build opposition to illegal intervention