Protesters demand Bank of England release withheld Venezuelan Gold

Protesters denounce Bank of England withholding Venezuelan gold
Support us and go ad-free

People demonstrated outside the Bank of England on 7 February 2019. They denounced the withholding of Venezuelan gold from the country’s government as well as the ongoing Western-backed coup in the country. The Canary attended the protest called by the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign.

Protesters denounce Bank of England for witholding Venezuelan gold No 1

Everyday people

Howard Sharp wasn’t with any group. He told The Canary:

I’m protesting against this government holding back money which doesn’t belong to them.

Howard Sharp Bank of England Venezuelan gold

He said the Bank clearly isn’t “independent” if the state could ‘pull its strings’ to prevent the Gold from being released.

Sharp put it simply:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

If you have money in a bank and you want to withdraw it, you are entitled to do so.

Stop The War

The Canary spoke to Shabbir Lakha of Stop The War Coalition and asked why there isn’t as much protest as there was over the 2003 US and UK invasion of Iraq.


Shabbir Lakha Bank of England Venezuelan gold Stop The War

Lakha said:

The movement against the Iraq War was a process that didn’t spring up over night. And I think what we are seeing already in terms of outrage against possible regime change in Venezuela shows that there is an appetite for that movement to be resurrected. Today’s action outside the Bank of England at short notice… shows that.

‘In the interests of international finance’

Former London Mayor Ken Livingston was also at the protest.

He reportedly said:

The holding of this Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England is part of Britain’s slavish following of Trump’s support for a coup and possible military intervention in Venezuela

He also told The Canary that:

The Bank of England, all my life, and long before my life, has never been about the interests of the British people. It’s been about the interests of international finance.

Ken Livingston plus one Bank of England Venezuela Coup - Venezuelan gold

He continued:

If Jeremy Corbyn was Prime Minister of Britain we wouldn’t be supporting [the coup]. We would be continuing to provide help for Venezuelans [and] support the democratic government.


Another protester was Chris Williamson, Labour MP for Derby North.

City AM reporter James Warrington asked Williamson about whether, from the Bank’s “point of view”, there are legitimate “concerns of  [potential] money laundering”.

Williamson called that an:

absurd statement from the Bank of England, if that’s what they are saying. This gold belongs to a sovereign nation.

Chris Williamson MP Bank of England Venezuelan gold - Venezuela Coup

From Downing Street to Bank

On 28 January, protesters also denounced the withholding of Venezuelan gold at Downing Street. Jorge Martin, of Hands Off Venezuela, stated:

There are very serious problems in Venezuela… which have been aggravated by US sanctions, [and] which have been aggravated by the fact that the British government is withholding Venezuelan gold. If the British government is really worried about the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, why don’t they hand over 14 tons of gold… which would go a long way to alleviate the conditions which are there?

The Bank hasn’t made any statements about what it would take for it to return the gold.

Protesters denounce Bank of England for witholding Venezuelan gold No 4

Feature image and all other images via Mohamed Elmaazi

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us