Venezuela on Monday accused the Bank of England of preventing it from feeding its people and funding public healthcare by blocking access to more than £1 billion in gold deposited by the Maduro regime.
During a visit to Moscow, Jorge Arreaza, the Venezuelan foreign minister, sought to blame the recently-imposed US and international sanctions on the Maduro government for the years-long economic and humanitarian crisis that has brought hyperinflation and crippling shortages of food and medicine.
“In the Bank of England, there are 1359 million euros (£1.16 billion) in Venezuelan gold blocked,” Mr Arreaza told a press conference, insisting that this was destined for “the health of the people, to feed the people, for production in Venezuela”.
The Bank of England was among a number of European and international financial institutions that had “confiscated” 5 billion euros of Venezuela’s money at the behest of “Mr Trump,” he said. It was this “blockade” which was to blame for Venezuelan suffering, Mr Arreaza claimed.
“”These are resources of the Venezuelan people for their food, for their health, for their public services, for their housing, for their infrastructure, it’s criminal what the United States is doing,” he said.
“When a housewife can’t get a product or it’s more expensive, it’s thanks to the blockade, When a child can’t be operated on, it’s thanks to the blockade,” the foreign minister alleged.