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General Motors Co. shut operations in Venezuela after authorities seized the automaker's plant and took its vehicles in the first nationalization of a major company's facilities in the country in more than two years.

US officials are reviewing Venezuela's seizure of General Motors Co's assets in the country, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday.

"GMV is taking all legal measures within its reach in order to protect the rights of its workers and their property", the company said in a statement.

Vente Venezuela did not immediately respond to the accusation. Under Chavez, who took office in 1999, the state took control of private oil, telecommunications, energy and cement businesses.

Foreign governments are also warning about the increasingly bellicose rhetoric coming from the government.

Watson said that automakers in the country have struggled because they've been unable to access US dollars to import parts, said Watson.

GM can seek compensation and damages for its lost plant in several different worldwide venues, said Nigel Blackaby, a lawyer at the Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer law firm, which has battled Venezuela in several high-profile cases in global courts.

According to the International Monetary Fund's estimates, the country's economy was the worst in the world a year ago, contracting 10 percent. The company said it has been forced to lay off its 2,700 Venezuelan workers. Unemployment is set to surpass 25% this year. The price of consumer goods has skyrocketed.

The sergeant was the third person reported killed in the protests over the past day and the eighth person to die in demonstrations over the past several weeks. The opposition sees the government measures as turning Venezuela into a almost full-blown dictatorship. GM announced an "immediate cessation of its operations in the country", as a result of seizure.

In July of previous year, the Venezuelan government took control of a factory belonging to Kimberly-Clark Corp. after the US personal care giant said it was no longer possible to manufacture in the crisis-wracked nation due to a lack of materials.

In 2016, Kleenex maker Kimberly-Clark suspended its operations in Venezuela, citing the country's "rapidly escalating inflation" and the "continued deterioration of economic and business conditions". Several other large American companies, including ExxonMobil, have seen their assets seized since late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez was elected in 1999.