GM halts operations in Venezuela after factory is seized – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Thursday, April 20, 2017

General Motors has shut down operations in Venezuela after it says authorities illegally seized its plant there, fueling growing concerns about the ability of international companies to do business amid the country’s deepening political and economic crisis.

In a statement released by GM on Thursday, the company said its plant had been “unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operation.” The company said other assets, including vehicles, had also been removed from its facilities, and vowed to “vigorously take all legal actions” to defend its rights.

Venezuelan officials did not respond immediately to requests for comment. News of the seizure was not widely covered in the Venezuelan press. But a local newspaper in Valencia, the industrial hub where the GM plant is located, said the authorities began their seizure of the plant on Tuesday and may also have frozen GM’s Venezuelan bank accounts.

The car manufacturer is the latest multinational company to report major problems in Venezuela, which has been devastated by food scarcities, massive inflation and weeks of bloody street protests against President Nicolas Maduro and his leftist government.

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