One move that has been under consideration by the US would block trades of Venezuelan-held dollar-denominated notes sold by the government and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state-run oil company, according to a third person familiar with the discussions, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.
It was not immediately clear how hard the sanctions would hit Venezuela's vital energy sector and whether they would affect its dealings with investors from other countries.
Maduro, the 54-year-old successor to former socialist dictator Hugo Chavez, has faced widespread protests following an economic collapse caused by a decline in oil prices, runaway inflation and severe shortages of basic goods.
Venezuela's future constitution, to be written by a new assembly packed with allies of President Nicolas Maduro, will be put to a referendum, the pro-government lawmakers said Thursday, according to The Manila Times. Mnuchin called Venezuela's situation "unacceptable" and said that the Trump administration is interested in restoring democracy in the country, not regime change per se.
When Mike Pence said that the United States would not stand by while Nicolas Maduro turned Venezuela into a catastrophe, he and Donald Trump meant it. The event, attended by military officials from China, Belarus and Russian Federation, was a prelude to military exercises Maduro called for this weekend as a deterrent to any US military intervention.
A senior US administration official described Friday's actions as an attempt to curtail Caracas' access to new debt.
Vice President Pence said in Buenos Aires, Aug. 15, he was confident of reaching a "peaceable" solution for Venezuela with economic and diplomatic pressure on the Maduro regime.
The White House said the new sanctions will tighten Venezuela's access to the US financial system.
The Trump administration slapped sweeping financial sanctions on Venezuela on Friday, dramatically ratcheting up tensions between the two countries and making it harder for embattled President Nicolas Maduro to raise badly needed cash to prevent a debt default.
"The economic measures the United States government is preparing will worsen Venezuela's economic situation", he told foreign journalists on Tuesday, vowing to protect the population from the worst effects of any sanctions.
Prohibiting Americans from extending new debt with a maturation period of longer than 30 days for the rest of the Venezuelan government. Our goal is not to continue to escalate this.
The White House said its sanctions were "calibrated to deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing" while allowing for some humanitarian exceptions. Last month, Maduro's government held a vote to replace the opposition-controlled National Assembly with an entirely new legislature filled with his supporters. In January, Maduro removed him from the minister's office, replacing him with Nelson Martinez, who until that headed Citgo, the USA business of PDVSA.
It's the fourth round of USA sanctions this year on Maduro and his inner circle, 30 of whom have had their US assets seized.