The U.S. is almost certainly preparing to impose targeted crude sanctions against Venezuela, analysts told CNBC on Monday, in a move likely to constitute a "devastating" blow for the oil-dependent state.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won re-election to another six-year term on Sunday, despite widespread anger over the South American country's crushing economic and social crises. The vote was marred by low voter turnout, allegations of vote-rigging and an opposition boycott.
"The next step is sanctions against the oil sector," Diego Moya-Ocampos, principal political analyst for Latin America at IHS Markit, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Monday.
"This is crucial because (Venezuela's) oil sector represents 25 percent of GDP (gross domestic product), 50 percent of fiscal revenues and 97 percent of revenue from foreign exchange… So, obviously, sanctions on the oil sector in Venezuela will be a game changer."