British judge denies Venezuela access to gold in bank vault

LONDON (AP) — A British judge has refused to give Venezuela control of over $1 billion in gold sitting in a Bank of England vault. The judge ruled that it is unlawful to give it to President Nicolás Maduro since Britain does not recognize him as president. Maduro has demanded the gold to help his cash-starved nation fight the coronavirus pandemic. But the central bank for the United Kingdom, whose government recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as his country’s legitimate leader, had refused to hand it over. Guaidó has sought to preserve the gold stash at the Bank of England. A lawyer representing Maduro’s side promised to appeal.