Dra. Vanessa Neumann


Designation of Venezuelan illicit gold by the European Union

Given my commitment of more than four (04) years in the Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT) in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, since my days as ambassador to the United Kingdom and Ireland. I have been promoting the designation of the gold that comes from the illegal mining that sustains Maduro's tyranny to fall under the legal rubric of the European Union on conflict minerals, which came into effect on January 1, 2021. 

To achieve this, Venezuela must be designated a "high risk area" as a source of conflict minerals. In the Protocols established by the OECD (on which European legislation is based), an “high-risk area” is defined as “areas of political instability or repression, institutional weakness, insecurity, collapse of civil infrastructure and widespread violence. Such areas are often characterized by widespread human rights abuses and violations of national or international law. " 

If this is achieved, every European company would have to declare whether it has traded in illicit Venezuelan gold, and should it fail to do so, face both financial and legal penalties. This initiative helps stymie the Maduro dictatorship's continued self-financing through the suffering of Venezuelans.