We know, very well, what the British government’s attitude towards the possibly President of Venezuela, Mr. Maduro, is. A thieving incompetent who most certainly should not be allowed to spray yet more of his long suffering peoples’ money up against the wall. While they’ve not quite said this publicly as yet when even Owen Jones admits that mistakes were made on that road to not real socialism we can divine that this is what is being said in private.
In public instead the British government recognises a Mr. Guiado as the President of Venezuela. Someone who, in the traditions of hope common to external evaluations of Latin American government, has not yet proven himself to be a thieving incompetent who most certainly should not be allowed to spray yet more of his long suffering peoples’ money up against the wall which is about the best that is hoped for in the region.
So, should one Venezuelan President get his hands of $1.8 billion of gold stored at the Bank of England or not? Or should the other, or neither?
At which point we get to that difference between the rule of law and rule by politics. The political answer here is clear and obvious. By their already performed actions the British government insists that Maduro shouldn’t be allowed within a hemisphere of the cash. In a land ruled by either pure democracy, of the elite that has political power, that would be that. As indeed it has been in Venezuela these past decades.
In a country with the rule of law instead we get:
Monday’s judgment said it was necessary to determine whether “(1) the UK government recognises Mr Guaidó as president of Venezuela for all purposes and therefore does not recognise Mr Maduro as president for any purpose. Or (2) HMG [the UK government] recognises Mr Guaidó as entitled to be the president of Venezuela and thus entitled to exercise all the powers of the president but also recognises Mr Maduro as the person who does in fact exercise some or all of the powers of the president of Venezuela.”
Are we run by rules or by the instructions of the powerful? The grand achievement of the past few hundred years is that, with slips tween cup and lip, some places have managed to come to a system run by those rules. Let’s not piss that advantage away, eh?