U.S. reviewing Venezuela's seizure of GM assets

The GM logo is seen in Warren Michigan

In poor neighbourhoods traditionally loyal to Maduro, some protesters cited hunger as their reason for joining calls for his ouster.

Demonstrators clash with the riot police during a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, April 20, 2017.

"But the protesters who showed up Wednesday vowed to keep struggling against Maduro and voicing their displeasure with the state of the country". There were also late-night barricades and some looting in Caracas' middle class neighborhood of El Paraiso on Wednesday night.

Almost all vehicles built in Venezuela in the first two months this year were assembled by Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), which said on Thursday that its plant was operating normally.

But Freddy Guevara, an opposition leader, rejected the allegation, calling Rodriguez "irresponsible" and saying the evacuations were "the fault of tear gas bombs of your dictatorship". More importantly, Maduro maintains a tight grip on nearly every branch of government and institution, though support within his ruling socialist party is fraying.

Vicente Paez, a city council member, said Friday that victim Melvin Guitan was wounded in Petare community east of Caracas when he was struck by a bullet during a protest being broken up Thursday by National Guard members deploying tear gas.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for information by Reuters.

Venezuela is going through a tough time due to rising conflicts between the Government officials and the people of the country.

The opposition said they have no intention of pulling back on protests that were triggered when the government-stacked Supreme Court three weeks ago gutted congress of its last vestiges of power, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of worldwide criticism.

"Twenty days of resistance and we feel newly born", opposition MP Freddy Guevara shouted. Some residents came out on balconies to cheer as the politicians urged supporters to don white and march silently through Caracas on Saturday to commemorate the eight people killed in the demonstrations.

DETROIT | General Motors became the latest corporation to have a factory or other asset seized by the government of Venezuela and the Detroit automaker faces an uphill battle to recover any damages.

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Mass anti-government protests started in Venezuela at the beginning of April after the country's Supreme Court chose to take on the legislative functions of the National Assembly, which is now controlled by the opposition.

The auto firm added that the seizure would cause irreparable damage to the company, its 2,678 workers, its 79 dealers and to its suppliers.

Union leaders at the plant said in February that GM had not assembled any new vehicles in Venezuela since 2015 and was limiting production to replacement parts.

The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay issued a joint statement on Thursday condemning violence in Venezuela.

"The stronger the protests are, the stronger the repression will be", said analyst Diego Moya-Ocampos of London-based consultancy IHS Markit Country Risk.

"We do not want confrontation, we want the regime of Nicolás Maduro to leave in peace", Tintori said, noting it must schedule long-delayed elections, release political prisoners and open a humanitarian channel to deliver food and medicine now in critically short supply. The government last year abruptly postponed regional elections the opposition was heavily favoured to win and cut off a petition drive to force a referendum seeking Maduro's removal before elections late next year.

But the government has not backed down.

Already drawing criticism for the GM seizure, Mr Maduro announced late on Thursday that he wanted an investigation into mobile phone operator Movistar for allegedly being part of the "coup-minded march" organised by his adversaries on Wednesday.

Maduro, a leftist who is facing the fiercest protests against him in three years, has promised to boost the armed forces, police, and civilian defense groups to guard against what he says is an attempt to overthrow "21st century Socialism".

Maduro claimed that Movistar has sent millions of messages to its users to promote the anti-government protests that have rocked Venezuela in recent weeks.

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