[News] Venezuela: Arrest Warrants Issued for Guaido’s Foreign Commissioner & US, UK Reps
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 6 17:51:07 EDT 2020
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/14739>, and association with
Colombian paramilitaries <https://venezuelanalysis.com/news/14656>and US
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
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
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
The gold was initiallyfrozen
<https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14144> by BoE authorities in
November 2018 citing “standard” anti-money-laundering measures.
<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
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,
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
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
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