Some US companies that have left or scaled back in Venezuela

Thousands of demonstrators rallied Wednesday against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas. 

In the midst of the demonstrations, General Motors announced it had stopped doing business in Venezuela after authorities took control of its only factory in the country in what GM said was an illegal judicial seizure of its assets.

GM's Venezuelan subsidiary, General Motors Venezolana, has operated in the country for almost 70 years and employs almost 2,700 workers there.

His government seized General Motors' assembly plant in Venezuela on Wednesday amid the protests demanding a new presidential election and calling for an end to the economic chaos that has produced shortages of food and medicine as well as soaring inflation. "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". There was no immediate reaction from Washington or Venezuela's government. A symbolic image reminiscent of the Tiananmen Square protest in China decades ago.

Former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who took office in 1999, saw the state take over much of the country's industries, including its hugely profitable oil reserves and it telecommunications and energy sectors.

As protesters, their eyes red and burning from tear gas, headed home, the opposition called for another round of street demonstrations Thursday. He then noted the seizer of the GM factory. There, he asked officers to allow the protesters to assemble peacefully, and held out a Bible. Its persistent presence there is a testament to the history of Venezuela, once Latin America's wealthiest nation (after its predecessor in that accolade, Cuba, collapsed under communist rule).

Workers attend a meeting Thursday with government officials at the General Motors plant in Valencia, Venezuela.

DAVID MUIR: General Motors tonight saying it's been forced to suspend its operation in Venezuela after the government there confiscated its factory. GM said it would make "separation payments" to its workers.

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. Protesters accuse Maduro of eroding democracy and mismanaging the country's increasingly cash-strapped economy.

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It's not the first time the Venezuelan government has seized a foreign corporation's facilities.

JACOB RASCON: Venezuela is at a breaking point.

Violence was also reported in Maracaibo, Valencia and San Cristobal just one day after what opposition leaders called "the mother of all protests". At least three people have been killed. Dr. Jorge Olivero was on the front lines.

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". Secretary of State Rex Tillerson voicing concern late yesterday.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA-Venezuela's opposition is looking to keep up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro by taking to the streets again Thursday hours after three people were killed and hundreds arrested in the biggest anti-government demonstrations in years.

Auto parts are among the many products that have been hard to acquire in Venezuela - food and medicine have also been chronically short in the economically devastated country.

"I denounce before the global 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. "And some are realizing that the moment has come that they can no longer throw the armed forces at us as if we were the enemy".

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