Legal battle for Venezuela’s gold continues.

The exciting $1.95 billion dispute for the gold reserves held by the Bank of England continued last Friday with an important decision by the High Court against formal President Nicolás Maduro favouring his opponent to power, interim President Juan Guaidó.

Following a 4-day trial, High Court’s Mrs Justice Cockerill was requested to decide whether the Venezuelan Supreme Court rulings that considered Guaidó’s appointments to the country’s central bank invalid could be recognised in England.

However, contrary to President Maduro’s interest, on Friday, Mrs Justice Cockerill ruled that the High Court could not recognise the decisions of the Venezuelan court as it would conflict with the U.K. Supreme Court decision in December that unequivocally recognises Guaidó as head of state, under the so-called “one voice” doctrine.

The decision is a crushing victory for Guaidó, who has been winning a series of legal clashes before the English courts over the gold after the British government recognised him, rather than Maduro, as Venezuela’s legitimate President.

In this sense, Mrs. Justice Cockerill alerted that “the court would not exercise its discretion to recognise them”, and therefore, “It follows that I conclude that there is no basis for the recognition of the Judgments upon which the Maduro Board relies. The Guaidó Board therefore succeeds.”

This new ruling confirms previous decisions since the British government does not recognise the legitimacy of Maduro’s cabinet for any purpose. Therefore it does not reverse previous judgements, as expected. In this sense, Mrs Justice Cockerill follows the one voice doctrine considering Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela and has the legitimacy to make appointments in the Bank of Venezuela.

In the coming days, Maduro’s legal representation will announce whether they decided to appeal to the Court of Appeal against the sentence handed down by Mrs Justice Cockerill.

Por David Martínez

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