U.S. Sanctions Cuba for Crackdowns on Protesters

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Politics|New U.S. sanctions purpose to punish Cuban forces for crackdowns connected protesters.


A antheral   was arrested during a objection  against the authorities  of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel successful  Havana, earlier this month.
Credit...Yamil Lage/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Lara Jakes

  • July 22, 2021, 3:12 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — The Biden medication issued caller sanctions connected Thursday to punish Cuba’s defence curate and an elite brigade of authorities information forces for quality rights violations against protesters earlier this month.

In the days since demonstrations erupted crossed Cuba connected July 11, the Biden medication has been consulting with officials crossed Washington and experts connected however broadly it should enforce economical penalties against authorities accused of ordering oregon carrying retired a heavy-handed response.

The Biden medication concluded that Álvaro López Miera, the caput of the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, “has played an integral relation successful the repression of ongoing protests successful Cuba,” the Treasury Department said successful a statement.

Members of the peculiar forces portion Boinas Negras, oregon Black Berets, which was antecedently sanctioned during the last days of the Trump administration, volition besides beryllium penalized for a question of arrests larger than immoderate different crackdown successful years, if not decades.

Activists said astatine slightest 150 protesters were arrested oregon disappeared during the July 11 demonstrations, and net work was chopped for overmuch of the land to stifle the anti-government sentiment.

The quality rights sanctions, issued arsenic portion of the Global Magnitsky Act, let the American authorities to frost the spot oregon different assets successful the United States that beryllium to the radical targeted by the economical penalties.

“The Cuban radical person the aforesaid close to state of look and peaceful assembly arsenic each people,” President Biden said successful a statement.

He added: “This is conscionable the opening — the United States volition proceed to authorisation individuals liable for oppression of the Cuban people.”

Jen Psaki, the White House property secretary, described the sanctions arsenic among a scope of responses Mr. Biden volition deploy to assistance Cubans who are grappling with authorities oppression and a increasing humanitarian crisis. She said that “addressing this infinitesimal was a precedence for the administration.”

As vice president during the Obama administration, Mr. Biden oversaw a argumentation that restored afloat diplomatic relations with Cuba for the archetypal clip successful much than a half-century. But helium has taken a tougher stance arsenic president, a presumption that mostly has been greeted warmly by members of Congress — including immoderate Democrats who had been successful the awkward presumption of siding with President Donald J. Trump’s argumentation of containing Cuba’s communist government.

Cubans person grown progressively frustrated with their authorities amid an economical situation that has included food scarcity, powerfulness cuts, skyrocketing ostentation and a increasing fig of Covid-19 deaths. The Cuban government, for its part, has blamed the United States for a commercialized embargo and, past week, accused American officials of stirring the unrest.

“Our connection could not beryllium clearer: The U.S. stands with the radical of Cuba and determination volition beryllium consequences for those with humor connected their hands,” Senator Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey and president of the Foreign Relations Committee, said connected Twitter. “@POTUS is perfectly close successful holding the Cuban authorities accountable arsenic it violently tries to squash Cubans’ hopes & dreams.”

The State Department besides is considering whether to let radical successful the United States to nonstop wealth to relatives and friends successful Cuba though a remittance process that, successful past cases, has been exploited by authorities officials who person seized a chopped of the funds. The department’s spokesman, Ned Price, said earlier this week that the Biden medication was examining however to get the wealth “directly successful the hands of the Cuban people.”

Additionally, Mr. Price said, the section whitethorn summation the fig of American diplomats astatine the U.S. Embassy successful Havana, wherever the fig of unit was acceptable astatine the bare minimum during the Trump administration. It is not wide when, oregon if, the Biden medication volition determination guardant connected either front.

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