Venezuela's socialist government gifted chocolates to creditors at debt talks on Monday, but little else in terms of firm proposals to renegotiate $60 billion in bonds, suggesting the struggling OPEC nation lacks a strategy to avert default.
President Nicolas Maduro confused investors this month with a vow to continue paying Venezuela's crippling debt, while also seeking to restructure and refinance it.
Both restructuring and refinancing appear out of the question, however, due to U.S. sanctions against the crisis-stricken nation. A default would compound Venezuela's dire economic crisis.
Monday's short and confused meeting, attended by senior Venezuelan officials blacklisted by the United States, gave no clarity on how Maduro would carry out his plan, bondholders and their representatives who participated said afterwards.
That means Venezuela remains with the dilemma of whether to continuing paying debt at the expense of an increasingly hungry and sick population, or defaulting on creditors and burning its bridges to the global financial system.