An important point on the Venezuelan "threat"

A friend from the States calls me up to say:

the word ‘threat’ and the declaration of an emergency is a technical requirement. The legal body that gives the President the authority to impose sanctions on Venezuelan human rights violators is the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, known in Washington by its acronym IEEPA. In it, the President can only impose sanctions after declaring a national emergency due to a threat. The ‘threat’ portion of Obama’s Executive Order was a legal requirement, and although the language is harsh, the public shouldn’t read too much into it.”

I’m no legal expert, so I’ll take his/her word for it. Surprisingly, this is a point also made by Telesur