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In other words, they would not affect USA oil imports from Venezuela.

The White House has yet to comment on the report, but Vice President Mike Pence was due to speak with Venezuelan exiles in Miami later on Wednesday.

"The Maduro dictatorship continues to deprive the Venezuelan people of food and medicine, imprison the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppress freedom of speech", the White House said in a statement.

But with Venezuela's streets calmer than they have been for months, and the opposition still reeling from its failure to prevent the constitutional assembly from going forward, action from increasingly concerned worldwide community represents the best chance of reining in Maduro, he added.

Venezuela's economy has been collapsing even as Maduro's government has lashed out at the USA, with Maduro's son even threatening violence against Trump.

Barring Venezuelan debt purchases could cripple Caracas' ability to raise money to pay off interest on its growing national debt, as the oil-producing country has been doing in the middle of an unprecedented economic collapse.

He told them, "We are with you and we will stand with you until democracy is restored in Venezuela".

Under the new sanctions, USA banks are now barred from "dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company", the White House said in a statement.

The White House has declared Maduro's regime a dictatorship. "His officials are now resorting to opaque financing schemes and liquidating the country's assets at fire sale prices".

The sanctions are "uncivilised politics" and Venezuela is "a victim of fake news" that exaggerates the extent of its economic crisis, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said at the United Nations in NY.

"Maduro may no longer take advantage of the American financial system to facilitate the wholesale looting of the Venezuelan economy at the expense of the Venezuelan people", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the White House.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Tuesday that his government is taking steps to defend the country against US economic sanctions.

During his press conference, Maduro also announced his plans to visit Russian Federation in order to continue discussions on Venezuela's Orinoco Mining Arc and stabilizing the price and the growth of oil and gas investments. "We try to integrate all elements together". "And no military actions are anticipated in the near future".

It was the latest round of sanctions slapped by the Trump administration on the South American country after Venezuela held elections for the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) at the end of July.

"Venezuela is not very far away". He added that while he does not feel an attack would come in the form of a "classic military invasion", it is possible that the Venezuelan Armed Forces could be attacked "from within", in order to create a situation of "ungovernability" justifying an invasion.