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Labor Laws Stoke Economic Turmoil in Venezuela

As Venezuela grapples with economic turmoil and widespread protests, a law that effectively prohibits companies from firing workers continues to restrict the country's ability to compete in the global economy.Anti-government protests led by university students and other groups escalated last month, with tempers flaring over shortages of basic goods like toilet paper and medicine.Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro has called the movement a "coup in motion." So far, about 20 people have been killed in clashes between protestors and security forces, and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was arrested in February.Venezuela entered a recession late last year and has seen inflation climb above 50%, spurring credit downgrades and talk of default .In December, Standard & Poor's downgraded Venezuela's credit rating another notch below investment grade. The decision was "based on the growing radicalization of economic policy over the last two months in the context of a sustained decline in intern...

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