EU calls for probe in Venezuela protest deaths

EU calls for probe in Venezuela protest deaths

Several dozen employees, in baseball hats and blue shirts adorned with the GM and Cadillac logos, gathered by the plant's main gates in the city of Valencia on Thursday.

The escalation of the crisis since late March has galvanized the often divided opposition in their efforts to force Maduro from power.

GM said Thursday that its only factory in Venezuela was confiscated a day earlier, as anti-government protesters clashed with authorities in a country that is roiled by economic troubles.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took a stronger stance Thursday against the Venezuelan government.

Riot police officers on motorcycles shield themselves during clashes with opposition supporters while rallying against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017.

Government officials fear that the recent violence is a repeat of the April 11 2002 massacre of opposition protesters in the capital by unidentified snipers - which served as a pretext for the short-lived coup against late president Hugo Chavez. Here's a look at some of the other USA companies that have ceased or reduced operations in the South American country as economic conditions there deteriorate.

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

General Motors announced Thursday that it was shuttering its operations in Venezuela after authorities seized its factory in the country, a move that could draw the Trump administration into the escalating chaos engulfing the South American nation amid days of deadly protests. It said that authorities had removed assets including cars from company facilities.

"The stronger the protests are, the stronger the repression will be", said analyst Diego Moya-Ocampos of London-based consultancy IHS Markit Country Risk. However, government officials cast doubt on the account saying the other victim, a 23-year-old woman, was killed by a member of an anti-government movement led by former congresswoman Maria Corina Machado, a claim Machado denied.

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

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He too said that the takeover was by dealers - and there's no connection with the Venezuelan government.

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

San Cristobal Mayor Patricia Gutierrez has said that Ramirez was shot to death by people who appeared to be government supporters.

Earlier Thursday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up thousands of marchers as they reached a vital freeway in Caracas, then edged back slightly as masked protesters pelted them with stones and Molotov cocktails.

He said Venezuela's Works Ministry has guaranteed that the workers will keep their jobs, but added: "We don't feel happy".

Wilfredo Coronel, a 42-year-old priest, held up a rosary in his right hand.

Eight people have died so far in demonstrations over the past several weeks.

It comes amid the violent demonstrations across Venezuela that we have reported on here.

The company said the "illegal judicial seizure" would cause "irreparable damage" to GM, its suppliers, its 79 dealers and almost 2,700 employees of the plant. The automaker said its Venezuelan workers will be given "separation payments" as it looks to exit the politically tumultuous country. The company says it will defend itself legally and that it's confident that justice eventually will prevail.

GM has about 2,700 workers in Venezuela, where it's been the market leader for over 35 years. At least four people have been killed in the protests. Both of those other two deaths were blamed on pro-government groups.

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