The White House says Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is leading a dictatorship.
The executive order prohibits dealings in new debt and equity issued by the Venezuelan government and its state-run oil company PDVSA as well as in some existing bonds owned by the public sector.
The measures would "deny the Maduro dictatorship a critical source of financing to maintain its illegitimate rule", the White house claimed. "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", he said.
Mnuchin, however, left the door open for rolling back these sanctions if the Maduro regime restores democratic processes. "What do they want - they want to starve the Venezuelan people?" The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the measures in greater detail. It adds that his actions have moved Venezuela closer and closer to default.
Under the executive order, the Treasury Department can still issue waivers to allow some bond transactions to proceed. The opposition boycotted the vote to elect the body's 545 delegates.
The protests have since waned as a constitutional assembly wholly made up of government loyalists has been installed and proceeded to go after Maduro's political opponents.
Alejandro Jesus Rebolledo, a Venezuelan judge who fled the country recently, also accused the government of crimes such as money laundering and drug trafficking.
Asked about the Vice President's recent trip to South America, McMaster said that he doesn't think "there's ever been a time where we've been better aligned with our partners in the region".
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Libertad is the Spanish word for freedom. But it's unclear how quickly the impact on the streets will be felt.
But the sanctions don't apply to short-term financing for oil sales.
"We will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles", White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday. Maduro has rallied military forces and civilians to protect the country. In response, Maduro announced a nationwide military drill to fend off a possible "imperialist" invasion.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a news briefing at the White House, where he announced new sanctions against Venezuela, on August 25.
USA Today reports that these sanctions are created to cut off some loopholes in earlier sanctions by targeting the government and PDVSA directly.
Since being elected in 2013, Maduro has overseen a nation struggling with a a deep economic crisis amid low oil prices and soaring inflation.
Engel also called for other countries and the U.N.to push for a resolution to the political crisis and the Venezuelan people's lack of access to food and medicine.