Venezuela’s gold dispute in UK courts is a battle for sovereignty

The official government of Venezuela has been engaged in a legal dispute with the Bank of England to regain control over gold assets worth over $1.8 billion

Zoe Alexandra

People’s Dispatch | August 17, 2022

The people of Venezuela for the last several years have taken to the streets to reject sanctions, asset freezing, and coup attempts by the far-right.

“The world must know that there is no legal security in London nor in the Bank of England, because at any moment, any country can have its international reserves stolen. There is no respect for the law!” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro made this damning statement in a televised address on August 3 following the decision by a British high court to reject the Venezuelan state access to its gold reserves worth $1.8 billion in the Bank of England.

Since 2019, Venezuela has had over $7 billion in foreign assets seized by banks in North America and Europe. Many, including the Bank of England, have used the excuse that since their governments recognize (or recognized) the self-proclaimed, former member of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as the legal representative of the country, they cannot hand over the money to an entity controlled by Maduro’s government.

This seemingly coordinated international action coupled with the increased sanctions on Venezuela’s financial transactions and oil production, deepened the economic crisis in the country that was already suffering under heavy unilateral coercive measures from the United States and its allies since 2014.

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On the Transfiguration of Europe: From Nuland’s Dream to Nuland’s Nightmare

Batiushka for The Saker blog

The Saker | August 19, 2022

Introduction: Carpathian Rus

The geographical centre of Europe just happens to be in the post-1945 Ukraine, 15 km (10 miles) from Rakhovo (in the Ukrainian occupiers’ language, Rakhiv). This is in the far east of the Ukraine, in the province of ‘Zakarpattia’ or ‘Transcarpathia’, which is the imperialist name given by the Ukrainian centralisers to the area. In reality, it is Kiev that is across, ‘trans’, the Carpathians, not ‘Transcarpathia’.

Zakarpattia was before the Second World War the main part of Subcarpathian Rus, also called Carpathian Rus, Rusinia or, in medieval Latin, Ruthenia. Smaller parts of it are now in the corner of south-eastern Poland, where lived the Lemkos, and in far eastern Slovakia. The people there call themselves Rusins or Rusnaks and despite three generations of Ukrainian linguistic imperialism, many still speak Rusin, which, although related, is a separate language from standard Ukrainian or any of its dialects and is also far more ancient. The first Orthodox Christians in what is now the Ukraine lived here, and helped to convert Kiev.

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The U.S. Government’s Frauds About Taiwan

Eric Zuesse

Current U.S. Government policy regarding Taiwan is directly violating prior commitments that the U.S. Government had made to the Chinese Government regarding Taiwan, which commitments will here be summarized by excerpts from the first of those previously made commitments:

https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969-76v17/d203
https://archive.ph/lvJX8
203. “Joint Statement Following Discussions With Leaders of the People’s Republic of China”
Shanghai, February 27, 1972. …
the two sides stated that:
—progress toward the normalization of relations between China and the United States is in the interests of all countries;
—both wish to reduce the danger of international military conflict;
—neither should seek hegemony in the Asia–Pacific region and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony; and
—neither is prepared to negotiate on behalf of any third party or to enter into agreements or understandings with the other directed at other states.
Both sides are of the view that it would be against the interests of the peoples of the world for any major country to collude with another against other countries, or for major countries to divide up the world into spheres of interest.

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Iran-Russia-China Military Exercises in Venezuela a Slap in the Face for Washington

Orinoco Tribune | August 14, 2022

An underground combat drone base of the Iranian Army in an undisclosed location. Photo: Defapress.ir.

Iran, Russia and China, along with Venezuela, will conduct a joint military maneuver just 2,000 kilometers from US territory, in a challenge to Washington.

The military exercises with drones and sniper commands, led by Russia, will be held during August 13–27 in the city of Barquisimeto, Lara state, in northwestern Venezuela.

A total of 37 countries will participate in these military exercises, among which, in addition to the aforementioned, are Algeria, Belarus, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Myanmar.

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US influence in Latin America is on the decline

Petro’s victory has meant the biggest setback for US influence on the continent

Jesus Inojosa

Últimas Noticias | August 14, 2022

The victory of Gustavo Petro in Colombia and his inauguration as President of the New Granada nation has set off alarms in the United States, where the possible end of the so-called “Washington influence” in Latin America is seen.

“It is time for a new international convention that accepts that the war on drugs has utterly failed, that it has left a million Latin Americans murdered, most of them Colombians, and that it leaves 70.000 North Americans dead from drug overdoses every year; none produced in Latin America”.

These words spoken by Petro During his inauguration speech this Sunday, he directly questions US policy in the neighboring country with the so-called “Plan Colombia”, which could mean the possibility of ending this agreement that has allowed the US to install no less than nine military bases in Colombian territory and guarantee the free action of officials of the DEA, the CIA and its Army, as well as the implementation of the extraterritoriality of its laws in this nation.

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Washington Escalates Hijacking of Venezuela’s EMTRASUR Boeing 747

Misión Verdad | Aug 14, 2022

Conviasa workers marching in Caracas demanding the return of the EMTRASUR jumbo jet controversially grounded by Argentina, August 9, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@laradiodelsur.


BACKGROUND

On August 11, the Lomas de Zamora court (Buenos Aires, Argentina) accepted the request for the seizure of the Boeing 747 aircraft belonging to the Venezuelan company EMTRASUR, illegally held at the Ezeiza airport since June 8. The request was made earlier this month to the Argentine judge Federico Villena, by the Federal Court of the District of Columbia (Washington), which was sent by the United States Department of Justice to the authorities of the Argentine republic.

Accepting this order supposes a turn of events in the kidnapping of the Venezuelan aircraft, on various levels. Legally and judicially, it implies an act of foreignization of the case, specifically that of the plane, since now a trial will be opened in the US courts to settle the dispute over its final destination. Politically and diplomatically, it means that the aircraft has been effectively placed under the protection of the United States and reflects an intensification in the strategies used to tense the bilateral relations between Venezuela and Argentina, to the extreme.
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Venezuela to ‘Rebuild Fellowship’ with Petro Gov’t in Colombia

José Luis Granados Ceja

RESUMEN | August 09, 2022

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro celebrated the inauguration of Gustavo Petro as president of Colombia, with leaders pledging to rebuild the long but fraught relationship between the two Caribbean countries.

“I extend my hand to the people of Colombia, to President Gustavo Petro, to rebuild fellowship on the basis of respect and love between peoples,” said Maduro on Sunday.

For his part, Petro called for Latin American governments to leave aside their political differences and work toward regional integration.

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Venezuela Blasts UK Ruling Denying Access to their Gold

Ricardo Vaz

RESUMEN | July 30, 2022

On Friday, the High Court of England and Wales decided in favor of opposition politician Juan Guaidó and dismissed a new effort by the Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) to regain control over their 31 tons of gold reserves worth an estimated US $1.7 billion.

Caracas had brought to court the Venezuelan Supreme Court decrees stating that the parallel BCV board appointed by the US-backed opposition was illegal. However, judge Sara Cockerill decreed that the British Court could not recognize the rulings made by Venezuela’s highest judicial instance.

Since late 2018, the Bank of England has refused BCV requests to repatriate the gold reserves. In January 2019, Guaidó proclaimed himself “interim president” and garnered immediate support from Washington.

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US sanctions are blocking life-saving relief to Cuba

A fire in a Cuban oil storage facility has killed, injured, and displaced Cubans and exacerbated the country’s energy crisis. Crucial aid efforts have been impeded by US sanctions

Natalia Marques

People’s Dispatch | August 08, 2022

A firefighter near the ongoing Matanzas fire (Photo via David Ramírez Álvarez on Twitter)

On August 5, a major oil storage facility was struck by lightning in the Cuban province of Matanzas, injuring 121, killing one, and leaving 17 firefighters missing. 5,000 people have been evacuated from the surrounding region.

The fire in Matanzas, still blazing as of August 8, is the largest in Cuban history. This fire will only exacerbate the energy crisis in Cuba, which has been racked with high fuel costs and aging infrastructure. Yet US anti-blockade organizations claim that existing US policies make providing humanitarian aid extremely difficult.

Despite the US Embassy in Cuba claiming that “US law authorizes US entities and organizations to provide disaster relief and response in Cuba,” activists say that existing US policy severely restricts any aid to Cuba.

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