The U.S. government held its fire against Venezuela on Monday, choosing not to slap sanctions on the oil-dependent nation's energy sector, but analysts say those penalties could still be coming.
The U.S. Treasury Department instead sanctioned embattled President Nicolas Maduro after he held a vote over the weekend to overhaul the nation's legislative body and sweep away the political opposition. The vote was a prelude to rewriting Venezuela's constitution, which would fortify Maduro's grip on power as his nation remains mired in economic crisis and rocked by deadly street clashes.
But the sanctions against Maduro himself are unlikely to knock him off the course he's plotted toward dictatorship, making it likely the United States will eventually impose economic sanctions, analysts say.
"Maduro is not going to be deterred, so the question is what happens when the new constituent assembly starts dismantling the existing institutions or we have further bloodshed. I think we will start to see escalating economic measures," Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC.