U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that new sanctions imposed against Venezuela were aimed at hobbling the regime of President Nicolas Maduro by restricting the country's access to U.S. debt and equity markets. "These include provisions allowing for a 30-day wind-down period; financing for most commercial trade, including the export and import of petroleum; transactions only involving Citgo; dealings in select existing Venezuelan debts; and the financing for humanitarian goods to Venezuela".
Reaction on Capitol Hill: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., praised Trump for the decision, saying in a statement that in Venezuela, "men, women and children are starving, but their government continues to focus on consolidating power".
Trump had on August 11 issued a surprise threat to Maduro, warning that the U.S might intervene in the chaos enveloping the South American country.
"We have troops all over the world".
However, Trump's executive order for Venezuela also contains some provisions specifically for Americans and Venezuelan citizens.
Earlier this month, Muchacho made headlines when he called USA military intervention in Venezuela "inevitable". President Donald Trump's executive order for Venezuela goes after major sources for the financing of the "dictatorship".More news: Infosys investors call for bringing Nandan Nilekani back on board
More news: Miguel Cabrera, Austin Romine get into major fight
More news: USA sanctions Chinese, Russians over North Korea support
The Trump administration has slapped sweeping financial sanctions on Venezuela, barring banks from any new financial deals with the government or state-run oil giant PDVSA.
The exceptions are designed "to mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people", according to the White House statement.
Maduro also said that a blockade preventing the arrival of food and medicine to the country could be used to exacurbate crises before a potential invasion. Venezuela has been embroiled in a political and economic crisis for months that has left over 100 people dead and triggered political changes that critics call anti-democratic power-grabs by President Maduro.
"No military actions are anticipated in the near future", McMaster told reporters on Friday, adding that Trump was presented with "many options" in case the situation in Venezuela deteriorated.
The U.S. has been increasingly concerned that Maduro's government is heading down the path of dictatorship.
On Friday, journalists were invited to a shooting range at Caracas' main military base to watch as troops taught a handful of civilian government supporters how to fire assault weapons.