General Motors said Thursday that it will stop doing business in Venezuela after authorities took control of its only factory there. "His response to a rogue nation taking over the assets of a brand name US company will be indicative of the road it wants to take with Venezuela".
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Venezuelan opposition activists take part in a protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on April 1.
General Motors has stopped operations in Venezuela after its only plant there was illegally seized by authorities, the automaker says in a statement. The company is not the first foreign firm whose assets have been confiscated by Venezuelan authorities, but those actions have typically been preceded by repeated public threats from the socialist government.
The Venezuelan government had no comment about the GM factory.
GM reported charges of $720 million in 2015 and $419 million a year earlier related to currency devaluation and asset impairment in Venezuela.
The three deaths bring to eight the number of people killed since protests began three weeks ago over the Supreme Court's decision to strip the opposition-controlled Congress of its last remaining powers, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism.
GM said it is a huge hit on the plant's 2,678 workers, its 79 dealers and to its suppliers.
Production at the GM plant in the city of Valencia has been interrupted repeatedly in recent years due to import restrictions and shortages of parts and raw materials. Nationwide, vehicle makers assembled just 2,849 cars in 2016, from a peak of 172,218 in 2007. It said that authorities had removed assets including cars from company facilities.
GM said in its annual report filed in February that it was closely monitoring the environment in Venezuela to assess whether changes meant it no longer maintained control of its local subsidiaries.
"But the protesters who showed up Wednesday vowed to keep struggling against Maduro and voicing their displeasure with the state of the country". 'Every time we do something, that's what we feel: that the worst thing would be to stay home, let fear take over us.
Ramirez was killed over the past day in the restive western border city of San Cristobal amid protests that also left two others dead - a teenage boy reportedly on his way to a soccer match with friends, and a National Guard officer whose unit was attacked.