This is pretty much what Maduro has in mind when he talks of restructuring the huge Venezuelan debt, huge enough that a default would at the very least send shudders through the markets (though it has been previsible enough that I am sure many have taken their precautions long ago).
I'll be as brief as possible.
The real problem of Maduro is that electoral cheating is not enough to get reelected next year. For this he needs to distribute some goodies to his hard core shrinking base so that they will be able to make effective the necessary electoral blackmail and cheating. You just cannot say that a given polling center has 90% participation when there is no picture of at least half a dozen people loitering in front.
Unfortunately Maduro &CO. misjudged badly the effect of the rather moderate US sanctions. What they do is to block access to new loans to pay old ones. Oh, Wall Street is full of sharks willing to issue new debt at exorbitant interests to pay some of the old ones and still leave a little bit of electoral cash for Maduro (I am looking at you Goldman Sachs). But US loan sharks are pretty much tied down, as well as those elsewhere who have no qualms in dealing with loan sharks.
For some reason Maduro thought that Russia had deep pockets but apparently not. Or he run out of collateral for Russia, which we must remember is a mafia economy and thus they make loan sharks look tame. China will only do as much as they need to do to guarantee payment of their own loans, but they had it with Venezuelan thieves and laziness and misrule. Corruption in China is kid's play compared to the one in Venezuela; and yet they are starting to crack down.
The reason to risk electing an unconstitutional constituent assembly (CA) was in part due to the need to have someone to vouch for new loans since the mean National Assembly (NA) would not approve them unless the regime allowed for the parliamentary supervision of how those new funds would be spent. Imagine that! Civilians monitoring corrupt generals and drug traffickers! ¿Habrase visto?
But then again a new problem arose for Maduro. The conditions under which the CA was "elected" and the massive fraud exposed within hours made that no serious country with serious cash in hand would recognize it, and even less any decisions that this garbage would make.
It seems that the recent October 15 "success" came at a prize and the regime will not be able to make its scheduled payments for the rest of the year. See, it is not enough to buy votes, you also need to pay those that commit electoral crimes. Expensive business all of that....
What is a hard working narko-korrupt autocrat to do?
Blackmail comes to mind.
First a series of wild declarations, including the stunning statement that the debt is not Maduro's.
So it had gotta be from Chavez, no? The narko-revolution starting to liquidate Chavez and his heirs? The potential makes the mind reel. (1)
Then came the order to convoke to Venezuela the bond holders to discuss things. Summoned would be a better word. And the vice president Tareck El-Aissami would be in charge of the negotiation. Well, the summons does make sense: Tareck is on the shit list of DEA and more so he cannot travel outside the country.
However it is predictable, even to the regime, that attendance will be sparse and that at any rate they will try to gently explain to the narko-dictatorship that, well, "you need to put a little bit of order in your house before we even consider risking the wrath of the SEC" (translation: we will need to be more than loan sharks to shoulder the legal risks if you really want more money).
So, to bring the blackmail in full force the regime is now openly talking of not paying, adding real threats against the NA for its final dismissal or "so you negotiate with us and the CA or we will not pay you a penny".
How this all will pan out is too early to say, but it is not going to end well. And the first victims are already in the list, starting with the vice president of the NA, Freddy Guevara (in the ever going destruction of Voluntad Popular of Leopoldo Lopez).
The gambit of Maduro reeks of desperation but I suppose that his mafiosi structured mind makes him and his gang willing to take the risk. After all if it works they will reap huge benefits. And if does fail, they are already getting pretty good at repression and people getting used to starve Cuban style.
Meanwhile, they are not taking ANY sensible measure to ease the crisis, NOT ONE. Which of course does not help when you wast to refinance your debt.....
Thus I guess that in fact Maduro does not want to negotiate any restructuration, he just wants surrender from the bond holders if they want to recover at least part of their loans (because it is clear that default is coming and that they will have huge losses no matter).
1) Liquidation of historical chavismo is keeping apace. This week it was the turn of Ameliach, outgoing Carabobo's governor who was looted of his own hoarded loot. Giordani was the first one, but on October 15 we saw the dismissal of Vielma, Cardenas, Aristobulo and Mata.