[News] Venezuela: Arrest Warrants Issued for Guaido’s Foreign Commissioner & US, UK Reps

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 6 17:51:07 EDT 2020


https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14931 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14931>


  Venezuela: Arrest Warrants Issued for Guaido’s Foreign Commissioner &
  US, UK Reps

By Paul Dobson - July 6, 2020
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mérida, July 6, 2020 (venezuelanalysis.com 
<http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/>) – Venezuela’s Attorney General Tarek 
William Saab issued arrest warrants for eleven members of Guaido’s inner 
circle on Friday, including his US and UK representatives.

The citizens were targeted following their reported involvement in the 
“plunder” of 31 tonnes ofVenezuelan gold 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14144> held in the Bank of 
England (BoE) and follows a contested London court ruling 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14929>blocking the government’s 
efforts to regain control over the assets.

Guaido’s representatives in London and Washington,Vanessa Neumann 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14651> andCarlos Vecchio 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14572>, have both been accused of 
treason, usurpation of office and criminal association, as has his 
appointed “special commissioner for foreign relations”Julio Borges 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/12023>, who is based in Colombia.

Warrants on the same charges were also issued for Ricardo Villasmil, 
Giacoma Cortesia, Manuel Rodriguez, Nelson Lugo and Carlos Suarez, who 
make up Guaido’s ad-hoc Central Bank (BCV) board, which will now attempt 
to access the US $1.2 billion assets, and Jose Hernandez, Irene de 
Lourdes and Geraldine Afiuni from Guaido’s Special Attorney’s office.

In addition to the warrants, Saab announced that any local assets 
belonging to the citizens are to be frozen, and that his office is 
considering appealing to international policing bodies to assist in 
their capture. All of the eleven citizens currently live abroad.

“These criminals have acted in favour of foreign power’s interests, 
concocting to make the Venezuelan people suffer from food, medicine and 
fuel shortages so as to enrich themselves at the expense of the 
country,” the attorney general argued, before going on to describe 
Borges, Neumann and Vecchio as “false representatives” of the country.

Friday’s charges are just the latest in a number of criminal accusations 
against Guaido’s team, including embezzlement 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14548>, corruption 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14739>, and association with 
Colombian paramilitaries <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14656>and US 
mercenaries <https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14872>.

Both Vecchio <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/10730> and Borges 
havepre-existing <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13987> arrest 
warrants open against them in Venezuela following their alleged roles in 
failed attempts to overthrow 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14888> the Maduro government. 
Borges has been previously linked to the2018 drone assassination 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/13987> attempt against the president.

For her part, Neumann has beenaccused 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14651> of looking to bargain off 
Venezuela’s historical claim to the oil-rich and disputedEssequibo Strip 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11459> to the neighbouring 
Cooperative Republic of Guyana in exchange for diplomatic recognition 
from London. The US-Venezuelan citizen was additionally accused by the 
government of “working with paramilitary groups in Colombia in 2009 and 
2010” and “being a US government agent” last week.

In response to Saab’s announcement, Guaido’s “Commission for Foreign 
Relations”described 
<https://twitter.com/JulioBorges/status/1279155454329978886?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1279155454329978886%7Ctwgr%5E&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.laiguana.tv%2Farticulos%2F761592-guaido-reaccion-ordenes-aprehension-oro%2F> 
the charges as “repression,” while the opposition leaderdefended 
<https://twitter.com/jguaido/status/1279509945591922694> his team’s 
efforts to “protect Venezuelan gold in the UK.”

Last Thursday, a UK High Court ruling blocked Maduro’s efforts to regain 
control over the gold, with Judge Nigel Teare arguing that the court was 
“bound” by 10 Downing Street’s “unequivocal recognition [of] opposition 
leader Juan Guaido as president.” While the assets remain blocked, 
Guaido’s ad-hoc BCV board is expected to file for control in the near 
future.

In response, the Venezuelan Central Bank pledged to appeal the 
“outrageous” decision. Government lawyers also claim that it fails to 
recognise the “reality of the situation on the ground,” in which the 
Maduro government is "in complete control of Venezuela and its 
administrative institutions.”

The gold was initiallyfrozen 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14144> by BoE authorities in 
November 2018 citing “standard” anti-money-laundering measures.

Following Guaido’sself-declaration 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14244> as “interim president” in 
January 2019, gaining immediate recognition from Washington and London, 
the UK foreign office has since supported a number of regime change 
attempts and formed a special government-run “Venezuela Reconstruction 
Unit <https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14910>.”

Similarly, the UK followed the European Union in strengthening 
itssanction <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14925>s regime against 
the country last month, applying asset freezes and travel bans on a 
number of Venezuelan officials in addition to previous measures. Despite 
its recognition of Guaido, the UK maintains dual diplomatic relations 
with both his representative and Maduro’s ambassador to the island, 
Rocio Maneiro.

Afterprevious attempts <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14139> to 
repatriate the reserves, Caracas looked toforce 
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14880> the BoE to release the gold in 
May. Under the proposed resolution deal, the gold was to be sold and the 
funds directly channelled through the United Nations Development Program 
to acquire food and medicine to assist in the fight against the COVID-19 
pandemic.

Despite registering much fewer cases than neighbouring countries, the 
coronavirus <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14924> is increasingly 
taking hold in the sanction-hit Latin American nation. On Sunday, a 
record 419 coronavirus cases were identified by authorities, taking the 
total to 7,169, of which 2,100 have recovered and 65 have passed away. 
With a rapid increase in recent weeks, the country returned to a 
“strict” nationwide quarantine this week as part of the week-on-week-off 
lockdown program which Maduro claimed will be in place “until a vaccine 
appears.”

-- 
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