Anti-government protest enters second day in Venezuela

The company said other assets, including vehicles, had also been removed from its facilities, and vowed to "vigorously take all legal actions" to defend its rights.

The move came amid violent street protests against the government of President Nicolás Maduro and a deepening economic crisis fueled by Venezuela's heavy foreign debt and the retreat of world oil prices, which have slashed the country's main source of income. The corporation had announced in 2015 that, following a wave of American company exists after Chávez's death in 2013, it would "likely" cease all production in the country by July of that year.

Movistar and Telefonica did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

GM has had a presence in Venezuela since 1948, according to the company, and employed 2,678 workers at its Valencia factory and another 3,900 people at dozens of dealerships around the country.

In this chaotic context, it is perhaps less surprising that Venezuelan media did not seem to dedicate much time to cover the news that their government gave, through a state-owned oil company, a US$500,000 contribution to Donald Trump's inauguration.

Starving and facing inflation rates predicted to rise to 1,660%, the people of Venezuela have lashed out at Maduro and his United Socialist Party.

As protesters, their eyes red and burning from tear gas, headed home, the opposition called for another round of street demonstrations Thursday.

The deaths mean eight people have now been killed during protests in Venezuela this month.

Venezuelan authorities have called on the Organization of American States, OAS, to condemn the violence perpetrated by the opposition.

Across the country, the clashes have been intense. They were met Wednesday by a curtain of tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to march to downtown Caracas. Unemployment is set to surpass 25% this year. The timing of this action indicates that Maduro may be expecting to intensify his confrontation with the U.S. to try to distract from the growing protests against him.

The demonstrations erupted after the Venezuelan Supreme Court's March 30 announcement that it would strip the opposition controlled National Assembly of its legislative powers.

Opposition leaders have accused Mr Maduro of ruling the country like a dictator; the president says opponents are trying to topple him by force.

He didn't provide any evidence to back up the coup claims, and the opposition rejected them as desperate attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest.

As tensions mount, the government is using its almost-complete control of Venezuela's institutions to pursue its opponents.

"What's happening with GM today is just indicative of the instability in the industry itself in Venezuela", she said.

President Maduro said Wednesday authorities had arrested more than 30 protesters engaged in violence, including an alleged leader of a group of rioters who was caught with explosives.



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