GM Says Its Plant In Venezuela Was Illegally Seized By The Government

GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized

"I denounce before the worldwide community that armed gangs hired by the opposition attacked a maternity hospital with 54 children", Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez tweeted, noting that President Nicolas Maduro had ordered the hospital's evacuation. The Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias Maternal and Child Hospital is located in the El Valle neighborhood of Caracas.

Government officials dismiss the protests, characterized by street barricades and clashes with security forces, as violent and lawless efforts to overthrow Maduro's leftist government with the backing of ideological adversaries in Washington.

Polls say 75 percent of Venezuelans want Maduro gone, but about 20 percent support him. Protesters accuse Maduro of eroding democracy and mismanaging the country's increasingly cash-strapped economy.

Police fire tear gas toward opposition supporters during clashes while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017.

As Venezuelan ruler Nicolas Maduro struggled against violent protests against him, the US based company General Motors had its means of production seized by the socialist regime Thursday.

A statement issued Thursday by spokesman Stephane Dujarric calls on the Venezuelan government and opposition to "engage sincerely to reactivate dialogue efforts, " especially on issues such as the balance of power among branches of government, the electoral calendar, human rights, truth and justice and the country's socio-economic situation".

The company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Opponents are pushing for Mr Maduro's removal through early elections and the release of dozens of political prisoners.

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A message from the president broadcast on television and radio stations Thursday said: "I denounce Movistar de Venezuela and have asked for an investigation because they have joined the calls for a coup in the country and that is not their function".

The seizer of private property belonging to a USA based business by a foreign and hostile government, for the benefit of said government needed to be reported.

Even while accusing the USA of trying to overthrow him, Maduro has been careful not to antagonize the new US president. It was unclear how many people remained in custody. "There are those at the top, including Maduro himself, who appear genuinely to believe that this is a revolution and the ultimate goal is the replacement of the capitalist economy with one that is entirely state-run".

JORGE OLIVERO: People are hungry but for democracy, for liberties, for rights.

Two students and a National Guard sergeant were killed in Wednesday's demonstrations, bringing the death toll in demonstrations this month to eight. Venezuela is now fighting claims of illegal asset seizures at a World Bank-sponsored arbitration panel from more than 25 companies. GM said assets such as vehicles were taken from the plant, causing the company irreparable damage.

GM's subsidiary in the country - General Motors Venezolana - has operated in Venezuela for almost 70 years.

Authorities say a third person has died overnight in the ongoing protests in Venezuela. At least four people have been killed in the protests. Pro-government militias were blamed for two deaths on Wednesday, including that of a teenager in Caracas who was heading to a soccer game with friends.

"We are concerned that the government of Maduro is violating its own constitution and is not allowing the opposition to have their voices heard, nor allowing them to organize in ways that expresses the views of the Venezuelan people", Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Wednesday.

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