U.S. is behind Bank of England’s freeze of Venezuela’s gold

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U.S. is behind Bank of England’s freeze of Venezuela’s gold from GATA

By Patricia Laya and Ethan Bronner
Bloomberg News

Nicolas Maduro’s embattled Venezuelan regime, desperate to hold onto the dwindling cash pile it has abroad, was stymied in its bid to pull $1.2 billion worth of gold out of the Bank of England, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bank of England’s decision to deny Maduro officials’ withdrawal request comes after top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, lobbied their U.K. counterparts to help cut off the regime from its overseas assets, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified.

The U.K. followed the U.S. and other countries on Wednesday in recognizing Juan Guaido, the National Assembly leader, as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Maduro, an authoritarian ruler who has overseen the country’s collapse into economic chaos, refuses to give up power, though, and has the backing of the military. The European Union threatened to recognize Guaido unless a “credible” presidential election is called with eight days, according to a draft statement seen by Bloomberg.

The U.S. officials are trying to steer Venezuela’s overseas assets to Guaido to help bolster his chances of effectively taking control of the government. The $1.2 billion of gold is a big chunk of the $8 billion in foreign reserves held by the Venezuelan central bank. The whereabouts of the rest of them is largely unknown. Turkey, though, has emerged recently as a destination for freshly mined Venezuelan gold.

The U.S. is leading an international effort to persuade Turkey — a key Maduro backer, along with Russia and China — to stop being a conduit for these gold shipments. Europe’s shift of position clarifies the international battles lines over Venezuela and aligns key powers such as Germany, France, and Spain more closely with the Trump administration ..

… For the remainder of the report:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-25/u-k-said-to-deny-madu…

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Chris Powell

The Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee was organized in the fall of 1998 to expose, oppose, and litigate against collusion to control the price and supply of gold and related financial instruments. The committee arose from essays by Bill Murphy, a financial commentator on the Internet (LeMetropoleCafe.com), and by Chris Powell, a newspaper editor in Connecticut. Murphy's essays reported evidence of collusion among financial institutions to suppress the price of gold. Powell, whose newspaper had been involved in antitrust litigation, replied with an essay proposing that gold mining and investor interests should act on Murphy's essays by bringing antitrust lawsuits against financial institutions involved in the collusion against gold. The response to these essays was so favorable that the committee was formed and formally incorporated in Delaware in January 1999. Murphy became chairman and Powell secretary and treasurer.