Newsexpress place banner advert Yudala genuine products
GM quits Venezuela after government seizes its factory

By News Express on 22/04/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 320


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.

The plant in the industrial city of Valencia was confiscated Wednesday as anti-government protesters clashed with security forces and pro-government groups in a country battered by economic troubles, including food shortages and triple-digit inflation. Three people were killed and hundreds arrested in the deadliest day of protests since the unrest began three weeks ago.

The seizure arose from an almost 20-year-old lawsuit brought by a former GM dealership in western Venezuela. The dealership had been seeking damages from GM of 476 million bolivars — about $665 million at the official exchange rate, or $115 million on the black market where many Venezuelans are forced to turn to sell their increasingly worthless currency. GM said it was notified this week that a low-level court ordered the seizure of its plant, bank accounts and other assets in the country.

Hundreds of workers desperate for information about their jobs gathered at the plant Thursday to meet with government and military officials, as well as representatives of the dealership that brought the lawsuit. The neglected factory hasn’t produced a car since 2015 but GM still has 79 dealers that employ 3,900 people in Venezuela, where for decades it was the market leader.

General Motors’ announcement came as Venezuela’s opposition moved to keep up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro, taking to the streets again Thursday a day after the biggest anti-government demonstrations in years.

It's not the first time the Venezuelan government has seized a foreign corporation’s facilities. Last July, the government said it would take over a factory belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corp. after the American personal care giant said it was halting manufacturing because materials weren’t available in Venezuela.

But the move against GM, the United States' biggest automaker, was a much more powerful statement, and could lead to a further erosion of relations between the two countries.

“This is a test case for Trump,” said Raul Gallegos, a Bogota-based analyst at Control Risks consultancy. “His response to a rogue nation taking over the assets of a brand name U.S. company will be indicative of the road it wants to take with Venezuela.”

The State Department said Thursday it was reviewing details of the GM case but called on authorities to act swiftly and transparently to resolve the dispute.

“A fair, predictable and transparent judicial system is critical to implementing the essential economic reforms critical to restoring growth and addressing the needs of the Venezuelan people,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Later Thursday, Maduro said he had called for an investigation into cellphone operator Movistar for allegedly being part of the “coup-minded march” organised by adversaries of his government. He said the subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica “sent millions of messages to users every two hours” in support of Wednesday’s protests.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets again Thursday to demand elections and denounce what they consider an increasingly dictatorial government. They were met by a curtain of tear gas and rubber bullets as they attempted to march to downtown Caracas.

Across the country, the clashes have been intense. 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. 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.

“They’re using a Venezuelan’s death, for which they’re responsible, to commit slander,” Machado said on Twitter.
“That’s how this criminal dictatorship works.”

The third fatality was a National Guard sergeant killed overnight when his squad was attacked with gunfire while trying to control disturbances in a suburb of Caracas, the chief prosecutor's office said. Another officer was wounded in the clashes.

Another five people have been killed in the three weeks of protests sparked by a Supreme Court decision to strip the opposition-controlled Congress of its last remaining powers, a move that was later reversed amid a storm of international criticism.

The move has energised Venezuela’s fractious opposition, which had been struggling to channel growing disgust with Maduro over widespread food shortages, triple-digit inflation and rampant crime.

Opponents are pushing for Maduro’s removal through early elections and the release of scores of political prisoners.
The government last year abruptly postponed regional elections the opposition was heavily favored to win and cut off a petition drive to force a referendum seeking Maduro's removal before elections late next year. The opposition sees the government measures as turning Venezuela into a nearly full-blown dictatorship.

But the government hasn’t backed down.

Maduro, addressing supporters Wednesday, said he was “anxious” to see elections take place sometime “soon” and repeated his call for dialogue, something many in the opposition see as a stalling tactic.

“Today they attempted to take power by force and we defeated them again,” said Maduro, adding that authorities rounded up several armed opponents seeking to carry out a coup. He didn’t provide any evidence to back up the claim, and the opposition rejected it as an attempt to intimidate Venezuelans from exercising their constitutional right to protest.

As tensions have mounted, the government has used its almost-complete control of Venezuela’s institutions to pursue its opponents. On Wednesday alone, 565 protesters were arrested nationwide, according to Penal Forum, a local NGO that provides legal assistance to detainees. The group said 334 remained in jail on Thursday. (AP)

Source News Express

Posted 22/04/2017 06:59:24 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
S/Africa set to return $15m arms money to...

Bayelsa PDP slams APC over alleged plot to...

UNCOVERED: Details of 4 assets belonging to Saraki...

Peterside condemns Amachree’s murder, describes Rivers State as...

German company set to build N14bn factory in...

Turkish coup attempt crumbles; plotters to ‘pay a...

EFCC reads Riot Act to bankers

Customs seizes multi-million naira frozen poultry products

ASUU votes to end strike

Nigeria wins AYC, defeats Senegal 1-0

Buhari Arrives South Africa, set for crucial talks...

Automation of land, tax, justice administrations underway in...

 

Latest News FG approves $470 million for Abuja water project Group warns against unconditional amnesty for ex-Boko Haram terrorists Public schools dumping ground for less-privileged children: NANS BREAKING: Arsenal overcome Chelsea to win FA Cup 34 prisoners get pardon in Cross River Kwara United star slumps, dies All set for musical fireworks to climax Lagos golden jubilee celebrations Yenagoa flood disaster sad and unfortunate: Dickson •Warns against indiscriminate dumping of refuse Alumni association sponsors ultra-modern toilet at FGC Owerri British Airways cancels flights as global IT outage takes toll Amaechi: 52 garlands for an enigma, gallant, resolute and misunderstood democrat Osinbajo jets out to Italy for G7 Summit

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (246,753 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (223,204 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (184,934 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (165,454 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (158,556 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (138,509 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (120,960 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (118,266 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (106,293 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (102,649 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (101,334 views) APC cries foul as PDP’s Fayose takes early lead in Ekiti governorship election (95,552 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (27) Business (2,563) Business Verdict (16) Columnists (685) Complaints & Requests (90) Enterprise & Opportunities (153) Entertainment (323) Features (448) Global Business Monitor (152) International (1,378) Interviews (122) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (54) News (24,764) Opinion (721) Pidgin (8) Politics (3,701) Religion (535) Sports (1,267) Stock Watch (18) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

Words on marble

 

UBA Wise Savers Promo

 

Machester United vs Ajax

 

APO Newsbreak logo

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!