Martes, 12 Diciembre, 2017

GM halts Venezuela operations amid plant seizure

GM halts Venezuela operations amid plant seizure GM halts Venezuela operations amid plant seizure
Irune Rengel | 21 Abril, 2017, 20:11

On NBC Nightly News, Anchor Lester Holt reported that "today General Motors said it will halt operations in Venezuela after the government seized one of its vehicle plants". GM said assets such as vehicles were taken from the plant, causing the company irreparable damage. Three people were killed late Wednesday as tens of thousands of people took the streets to demand fresh presidential elections and the release of jailed opposition politicians.

This is all very bad news for the company's 2,678 workers, its 79 dealers (Venezuela's largest service network with more than 3,900 workers), and its suppliers (which represent more than 55% of the country's auto parts industry). The International Monetary Fund this week projected that Venezuela's economy will be the worst performing in the world in 2017, shrinking by 7.4 percent and even underperforming other ugly economies such as Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Iraq.

General Motors Company's plant in Venezuela was sized by the country's government yesterday. The seizure comes amid a deepening economic crisis in leftist-led Venezuela that has already roiled many US companies. The venue depends on what treaties, if any, govern the investment, he said.

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On Wednesday, a Venezuelan court in the western state of Zulia ordered the American company's assets frozen and its property seized, siding against GM in a suit filed by a former GM dealer in 2000, according to Venezuelan news accounts.

The Venezuelan government has offered no explanation for its seizure of the GM plant, and the timing of the move suggests Maduro may be looking to escalate his confrontation with the United States to try to move attention away from the intensifying protests against him. Like most carmakers in the oil-producing nation, it has seen production grind to a halt as the cash-strapped government chokes off its access to dollars needed to import parts and repatriate profits.

Large-scale protests erupted in recent weeks after Maduro's administration barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for the next 15 years.

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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 Maduro government is the leading economic and political ally of the government of Raul Castro in Cuba.

Venezuelan officials offered no explanation for its seizure of the GM facility.

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Associated Press writer Juan Carlos Hernandez reported this story in Valencia and AP writer Joshua Goodman reported from Caracas.

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