Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters on May 15 that to increase productivity and help alleviate scarcity of basic products facing the South American nation, all businesses and factories closed down by their owners would be seized and handed over to their workers so production could be restarted. “A stopped factory [is] a factory turned over to the people,” Maduro said. “The moment to do it has come, I'm ready to do it to radicalise the Revolution.”
Last year, Puerto Rico's governor announced it simply did not have the money to repay its US$72 billion debt — on bonds owed mainly to US financiers. On May 2, the US's Caribbean colony defaulted on $400 million that was due on that day. A further $2 billion is due on June 1.