Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized

Nellie Chapman | 21 April, 2017, 19:06

General Motors halted operations in Venezuela on Thursday after the vehicle maker's plant in the country was seized by public authorities, the company said.

An opposition demonstrator shows a tear gas grenade while clashing with riot police during the so called "mother of all marches" against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, April 19, 2017.

That sets the stage for prolonged disruption in volatile Venezuela, where security forces have been blocking rallies this month and protests have dissolved into clashes with rock-throwing youth.

In Rubio's words, "This latest action only confirms the ultimate goal of the Maduro regime to allow for a Cuban-style form of government, where human rights and property rights have no value".

After nearly three weeks of anti-government protests on the streets of Venezuela and coupled with Wednesday's figure, the current death toll has increased to eight, including one police officer.

The president of Venezuela donated $500,000 (£391,000) to Donald Trump's inauguration fund despite the country suffering severe economic problems and food shortages.

Seven people have died at protests in Venezuela this month, with dozens more injured and at least 30 arrests.

The opposition have called for another protest on Thursday, raising the spectre of prolonged disruption in the country. The ballot for state governors has been delayed since past year and elections authorities have not announced when it will be held.

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.

At around midday on Thursday, a few thousand people protested in Caracas, although opposition lawmakers accused security forces of using excessive tear gas and force to block the marches.

"We have to protest because this country is dying of hunger said Alexis Mendoza, a 53-year-old administrator marching in the Caracas neighbourhood of El Paraiso". Although she doesn't expect change overnight, she said protesting is the only option the opposition has against an entrenched, increasingly repressive government. Each day, Venezuelans lose more of their democracy, rendering them incapable of resolving the situation on their own as Maduro's government continues to stall free and fair elections. Her boyfriend and mother have both said she was shot down by government supporters chasing her on motorbikes after a protest.

The president is expected to address the counter-march of government supporters later on Wednesday, on the day Venezuela is celebrating its declaration of independence from Spain two centuries ago.

Amid a sea of Venezuelan flags the marchers shouted: "Who are we?" At least 1.2 million people filled 20 kilometers (12 miles) of streets and highways, he said.

He had said the same in 2015 amid a bilateral crisis over Venezuela's shock decision to suddenly deport thousands of Colombian citizens, creating a major humanitarian crisis at the border.

Two students and a National Guard officer were killed in the April 19 demonstrations.

The president also signed orders on TV late Tuesday activating the "green phase" of enigmatic military plans to defend Venezuela against what he describes as US -backed attempts to sow chaos and overthrow him.

"The opposition is trying to provoke a conflict but they aren't going to achieve their goal", said Marquez, who wore a shirt emblazoned with the eyes of Chavez, a symbol of revolutionary zeal throughout Venezuela.

Government officials dismissed the protests, characterised by street barricades and clashes with security forces, as violent and lawless efforts to overthrow Mr. They triggered a brief coup against the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro's predecessor and mentor.