General Motors factory seized by Venezuela


Vice President Tareck El Aissami blamed the opposition for Wednesday's violence and called for a probe of the organizers.

He gave a fiery speech Wednesday, accusing opposition leaders of inciting violence.

It might not be by choice, but General Motors no longer has a presence in the Venezuelan market. "His response to a rogue nation taking over the assets of a brand name USA company will be indicative of the road it wants to take with Venezuela". President Nicolas Maduro accused Kimberly-Clark of participating in an global plot to damage Venezuela's economy.

In Rubio's words, "This latest action only confirms the ultimate goal of the Maduro regime to allow for a Cuban-style form of government, where human rights and property rights have no value".

GM's revenue in South America has dropped from more than $13 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion a year ago primarily because of falling sales in Brazil and Venezuela.

There were multiple reports of riot police firing tear gas at demonstrators who were fleeing from the scene with their faces covered with masks and bandanas.

To this day, the Chinese government continues to censor that image - one that much of the world regards as a symbol of the "pro-democracy protests in the country at the time". Police kept their distance, and protesters hushed when he passed.

Photos and videos of the man have flooded Venezuelan social media.

General Motors says it will immediately halt operations in Venezuela after its plant in the country was unexpectedly seized by authorities.

Industry estimates peg oil output from Venezuela at about 2 million barrels a day-its lowest in roughly 14 years.

Junior Perdomo, 36, an analyst at GM Venezuela, said he learned of the takeover Monday on a social network, and that on Tuesday a dealership representative came to the plant to explain the situation.

"A fair, predictable and transparent judicial system is critical to implementing the essential economic reforms critical to restoring growth and addressing the needs of the Venezuelan people", State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. It employs almost 2,700 workers and has 79 dealers in the country.

The Venezuelan government has had no comment about the GM factory. According to CNNMoney, the country's economy declined by 18% last year, marking its third consecutive year of recession.

The last vote held in Venezuela, the parliamentary election of 2015, gave the opposition a majority.

"They're using a Venezuelan's death, for which they're responsible, to commit slander", Machado said on Twitter.

The 23-year-old woman, Paola Ramirez, died after being shot in the head in the western city of San Cristobal, the state prosecution service said later in a statement.

The government said those taking to the streets were "terrorists" who were plotting to oust the president in a coup.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged all sides in Venezuela to take steps to ease tensions. "We lost everything here", said Mustafa, who said he could hear the looting from his home, which is adjacent to the store.

The next planned protest is Saturday, when opponents are being asked to dress in white and march silently to commemorate the victims of the demonstration.

He accused the government of violating the people's right to live, food and free expression and "it's necessary that we recover those spaces".

The auto manufacturer is the latest multinational company to report major problems in Venezuela, which has been devastated by food scarcities, massive inflation and weeks of bloody street protests against President Nicolas Maduro and his leftist government. "In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities", the statement said. GM says that the plant had stopped making cars recently, presumably due to deteriorating economic conditions. GM has about 2,700 workers in the country, where it's been the market leader for over 35 years.

Pepsi, Coca-Cola and other companies have suffered major losses as Venezuela's currency has plummeted - inflation reached an annual rate of 455% in February - and airlines including United and Delta have seen their profits frozen by Venezuelan authorities.