Demonstrators once again demand the Bank of England return ‘stolen’ Venezuelan gold

No War on Venezuela Banner and demo at Bank of England
Mohamed Elmaazi

Up to 80 people attended a second rally opposite the Bank of England on Saturday 23 February. People from diverse backgrounds met up with a clear message: they demanded that the British state return the Venezuelan gold that it is withholding. This is the second such protest that The Canary has attended.

Everyday people

No one The Canary interviewed was part of an activist organisation.

Ash, 40, a writer and musician, told The Canary:

I am here to support the protest because we have [a long] history of being complicit with America and [of] Western European so-called democracies… having nefarious interests in South America; destabilising democratic governments, overthrowing them; supporting dictatorships… [Chilean dictator] Pinochet comes to mind.

Ash at Bank of England Demonstration 23 February

Cheryl, 64, is originally from Trinidad and Tobago. She told The Canary that:

I am here today to give support to Law and Order. Because what is happening in Venezuela is complete lawlessness headed by the chief international rogue state USA; dragging its proxies in South America and… the EU to break international laws.

Cheryl Sanchez at demo at Bank of England 23 Feb 2019

Stolen Venezuelan gold

Cheryl continued:

if they had concerns for Venezuelan people, they would lift the sanctions, order the Bank of England to give back Venezuela the £1.3bn in gold, stop the banks from holding Venezuelan accounts – which is stopping the Venezuelan government from doing their duty to the people.

The Canary asked Cheryl for her reaction to the fact that most of the small island nations of the Caribbean openly resisted intense pressure from the US and opposed the US-led coup attempt. She said she was “pleasantly surprised’:

because… being small, you are an immediate target of the US and then you are done. Because they can do damage to you.

Naila, 37, who came from Birmingham just for the demo, told The Canary:

I am opposed to wars for regime change – wars for oil – and I am here for solidarity.

Naima at Bank of England Demo 23 Feb 2019-min

Imperialism by another name?

MP Chris Williamson, meanwhile, released a video statement that said:

Remarkably, the actual gold in question was mined in Venezuela. The Conquistadors stole South America’s gold for centuries. Now we do the same, only under the guise of democracy and liberty.

Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone also called out the long and sordid history. And he blasted the British press for failing to discuss the achievements of the Venezuelan government over the past 20 years.

“Bank of England shame on you”

As Williamson put it:

How can anyone take Britain seriously when we talk about a humanitarian crisis, yet we are stealing money from the very country beset by those problems?

How indeed?

Featured image and all other images via Mohamed Elmaazi

Get involved

  • In the US: write to your Congressperson and demand that they oppose the coup and end the crippling US sanctions that are exacerbating the humanitarian situation.
  • In the UK: write to your MP and ask them to oppose the coup, the sanctions, and return Venezuela’s gold to the Maduro government, to help alleviate the suffering of Venezuela’s people (be sure to be polite and concise in order to be effective).

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