Interview with Michael Hudson
-- in which Hudson goes into detail on how precisely the US and its agencies inside Venezuela have been able to destabilize the Venezuelan economy. This paragraph is critical:
First of all, oil refineries were not built in Venezuela, but in Trinidad and in the southern U.S. Gulf Coast states. This enabled U.S. oil companies – or the U.S. Government – to leave Venezuela without a means of “going it alone” and pursuing an independent policy with its oil, as it needed to have this oil refined. It doesn’t help to have oil reserves if you are unable to get this oil refined so as to be usable.
So that's how they do it. Hudson does, however, suggest that screwing Venezuela will have a price:
The U.S. has overplayed its hand in destroying the foundation of the dollar-centered global financial order. That order has enabled the United States to be “the exceptional nation” able to run balance-of-payments deficits and foreign debt that it has no intention (or ability) to pay, claiming that the dollars thrown off by its foreign military spending “supply” other countries with their central bank reserves (held in the form of loans to the U.S. Treasury – Treasury bonds and bills – to finance the U.S. budget deficit and its military spending, as well as the largely military U.S. balance-of-payments deficit.
Given the fact that the EU is acting as a branch of NATO and the U.S. banking system, that alternative would have to be associated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the gold would have to be kept in Russia and/or China.
So I suppose at some point the rest of the world is going to ask the US to "pay up," and the national obsession with capitalism (see e.g. President Trump's references to "socialism" in the State of the Union address) will come back to bite America hard. That point is no doubt a fair distance away, though.