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Chavez bringing home the gold

The Americas Post - Gold bullion always seems to get a warm welcome. Photo Credit: AVN

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s administration began repatriating that nation’s gold reserves from European banks on Friday, with the first shipment arriving on a flight from Paris.

The shipment was protected by troops in a caravan of at least five armored vehicles directly to the Central Bank in Caracas.

Government supporters cheered and waved flags as the caravan passed, while soldiers held their rifles ready.   The procession included two light tanks.

Back in August Chavez announced that his government would retrieve more than 211 tons of gold held in U.S. and European banks.

“It’s coming to the place it never should have left. … The vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela, not the bank of London or the bank of the United States,” Chavez said.  “It’s our gold.”

The leftist president has said his decision to repatriate the gold reserves is aimed at helping to protect the oil-producing country from economic troubles in the United States and Europe.

Chavez’s opponents have called the plan costly and ill-advised, pointing out that the gold belongs to Venezuela no matter where it is held.