The US empire won't stop trying to overthrow current Venezuelan government in order to establish a right-wing pro-US regime, as it did many times in the past, especially in Latin America. The Western media propaganda which depicts Maduro as dictator and hides the awful atrocities committed by right-wing protesters seems that it failed for the moment, as Maduro still enjoys significant popular support.
However, the US still has the ability to sabotage the Venezuelan economy in order to achieve greater popular dissatisfaction and uprising that will lead to the collapse of Maduro administration.
Gregory Wilpert, a German-American sociologist, senior producer and host of the Real News, who lived in Venezuela, explains the key element of this ability:
An oil embargo would be very devastating for Venezuela, because Venezuela continues to export something like close to a third of its oil to the United States, and the thing that one needs to know is that most of that oil goes to very specific refineries that are equipped to handle with the extra-heavy crude, or heavy crude that Venezuela tends to export to the US.
And so, it won't be that easy to find new markets for it because you'd have to find new refineries that have additional capacity to refine this particular type of crude. In other words, the refineries that Venezuela has in the US are specifically made for Venezuelan oil. So it would be very big blow, but of course a blow to the US economy to some extent as well, because Citgo, which belongs to Venezuela, is one of the largest oil companies in the United States with something like 14,000 gas stations. But would be a much bigger blow to Venezuela.
The calculus is, again, to cripple the Venezuelan economy precisely to bring a radical break with the Chavista or Maduro government because that would lead to basically a complete inability of Venezuela to import any products, and it depends, still, to a large extent on imports in order to feed the population.
Tillerson has said that they want to take that into account and want to try to soften the blow, but I think that's just rhetoric. If they really go through it, it would be basically trying to repeat the Nicaragua example of what happened in 1990 where people said even if we support the government, we're going to have to vote against it because we've got a gun against our head on this.
It is expected that the US empire will intensify efforts to overthrow Maduro as it seems that he tries to decouple the Venezuelan economy from petro-dollar, through risky but innovative moves like, for example, types of Cryptocurrencies issued by the Venezuelan state.
After the successful premiere of Petro, Venezuela's first Cryptocurrency, the country is about to send another shock wave against the Wall Street mafia and the Western banking cabal, very quickly. Maduro announced a second Cryptocurrency that will be backed by gold and other precious metals!
This second, back-to-back action by Venezuela reveals efforts to start transactions that will be based not solely on the oil reserves. The attempt is probably indicative of Maduro's strategic plans to build a much more flexible economy that will permit Venezuela to minimize impact from Western sanctions.