Switzerland has denied a claim by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido that he spoke to the Swiss president about freezing bank accounts of Venezuelan officials after “irregular movements” were discovered.
Guaido made the claim on Mexican television, according to Reuters and DPA news agencies. He said they had spoken on Wednesday morning but did not mention Swiss President Ueli Maurer by name.
However, Swiss foreign ministry spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger said the information was not correct. “There was no contact between Mr. Gauido and President Maurer,” he told swissinfo.ch on Wednesday evening when asked for confirmation.
Guaido said the Venezuelan government held bank accounts in Switzerland and that irregular efforts to migrate part of those accounts to "another site" had been detected. "We are doing everything possible to protect these assets that belong to the republic," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Three weeks ago Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela, arguing that Nicolas Maduro's re-election last year was a sham. Most Western countries have recognized him as legitimate head of state, but Maduro still has the backing of Russia and China, as well as control of state institutions. Switzerland has not recognized him, saying that it recognizes states, not governments.