The government held a meeting with bondholders in Caracas on November 13 about a debt restructuring (generally considered akin to default), which is typically used to determine how much less investors will be paid than officially owed.
Ratings agency Standard & Poor's says Venezuela has defaulted on its debt after it failed to make payments due on some of its bonds.
S&P's verdict came after the Venezuelan government met with worldwide creditors in Caracas but offered no concrete plan for restructuring its $150 billion debt.
Caracas has less than $10 billion left in hard currency reserves, but must make $1.4 billion in debt payments before year-end, and another $8 billion next year.More news: Arsene Wenger reveals his next step after Arsenal
About 70 percent of Venezuelan bondholders are North American, according to government figures.
Previously it had Venezuela in junk bond status.
While placing those latter two ratings on CreditWatch, S&P added that it saw a one-in-two chance Venezuela night default again within the coming three months.
Instead, the head of the Venezuelan commission, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, read a statement blaming sanctions imposed by the United States for Venezuela's difficulties in making the payments.More news: Birthplace of Wine. 8000-year-old Jars Found Near Tbilisi
There's still hope for restructuring with only some issues in peril.
The agency said it acted after a 30-day grace period had passed on payments on two bonds.
The US has designated vice president El Aissami himself a drug kingpin with whom US entities are barred from dealing.
Maduro is also under fire internationally for marginalizing the opposition, which controls the parliament, and stifling independent media.More news: Super Eagles Aiming To Shock 'Messi-less' Argentina
Under the sanctions, no USA citizen can do business with Venezuelan individuals on the list.
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