The Venezuelan government has warned it will confiscate hundreds of private companies that are lying idle if they fail to re-open.
President Hugo Chavez said the firms' workers would be given help to set up co-operatives and re-start production for the benefit of the community.
He said the move was needed to fight poverty and end Venezuela's dependence on "the perverse model of capitalism".
Some business leaders fear it may lead to a wider attack on private property.
Speaking on his weekly television programme, Mr Chavez said the measures were necessary.
"It's against our constitution," he said. "Just as we cannot permit good land to lie uncultivated, so we cannot allow perfectly productive factories to stay closed."
Gee, where have we heard this before? This is why Chavez and Mugabe make such a good couple.
(hat tip: Shawn)