U.S. sanctions Cuban military officials over crackdown on protests

Special forces troops patrol at Prado Avenue following the protests in Cuba, Havana on July 21, 2021.

Yander Zamora | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The United States imposed sanctions on Cuba’s protection minister and the communist nation’s particular forces brigade for the suppression of peaceable protests that broke out on the island final week.

The sanctions mark the primary steps by the Biden administration to use stress on the Cuban authorities as Washington faces calls to point out larger help for the protesters.

President Joe Biden warned the Cuban authorities that there can be extra to come back.

“This is just the beginning – the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people,” the president mentioned in a press release Thursday. Previously, Biden mentioned the U.S. stands “firmly with the people of Cuba as they assert their universal rights.”

The Treasury Department singled out Cuban Defense Minister Alvaro Lopez Miera, for having “played an integral role in the repression of ongoing protests in Cuba.”

The sanctions prohibit funds from entities within the United States to Lopez Miera and the particular forces, in addition to funds from the Cuban entities to the U.S.

State Department spokesman Ned Price mentioned Thursday that the U.S. was working with the non-public sector and Congress to search for methods to make the web accessible to the folks of Cuba. Price has beforehand referred to as on the Cuban authorities to revive full web and telecommunications.

“The actions of Cuban security forces and violent mobs mobilized by Cuban Communist Party First Secretary Miguel Diaz-Canel lay bare the regime’s fear of its own people and unwillingness to meet their basic needs and aspirations,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a press release.

“We stand with every Cuban seeking a government that respects the human rights and dignity of the Cuban people,” he added.

Over every week in the past, hundreds of protestors crammed the streets over frustrations with a crippled financial system hit by meals and energy shortages.

The uncommon protests, the most important the communist nation has seen for the reason that Nineties, come as the federal government struggles to include the coronavirus pandemic, pushing the island’s fragile health-care system to the brink.

People participate in an indication to help the federal government of the Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, on July 11, 2021.

Yamil Lage | AFP | Getty Images

Cuban President Diaz-Canel Bermudez mentioned his regime was “prepared to do anything” to quell the protests, according to a report from The Washington Post. “We will be battling in the streets,” he mentioned, including that the United States is partly accountable for the widespread discontent in Cuba.

A day later, he appeared alongside members of his authorities and blamed U.S. commerce sanctions for hampering Cuba’s progress.

Reacting to the Cuban president’s feedback, Blinken instructed reporters final week that the United States was to not blame for the laundry record of points plaguing Havana.

Blinken mentioned Cubans have been “tired of the mismanagement of the Cuban economy, tired of the lack of adequate food and, of course, an adequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“That is what we are hearing and seeing in Cuba, and that is a reflection of the Cuban people, not of the United States or any other outside actor,” Blinken mentioned.

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