1 of 2Photo: Ramon Espinosa/AP/TT
After thousands of Cubans rose up and demonstrated against the Cuban regime in front of the United States, new sanctions may be imposed against the island nation – and more may come.
“We hear you,” President Joe Biden said at a meeting with Cuban exiles at the White House Friday night.
On Friday, the United States imposed sanctions on the police force in Cuba and on two senior police commanders. The new measures are another reaction to the Cuban authorities’ harsh intervention against protests critical of the regime earlier in July.
In a White House meeting between Joe Biden and Cuban representatives in exile, the president promised to toughen the tone against Havana.
– We heard you. He said, among other things, we hear your cries for freedom coming from the island.
Hundreds have been arrested
Hundreds of protesters have been arrested in connection with the demonstrations, and many are at risk of conviction for disturbing public order or violating COVID-19 restrictions. According to US authorities, about 60 Cubans have been brought to justice for their participation in the protests – and the US is threatening further sanctions against the island nation.
The Ministry of Finance will continue to identify and designate those who facilitate violations of the Cuban regime’s human rights violations, says the department’s head of sanctions, Andrea Jacci.
Cuban police forces, now blacklisted by the United States, have been ordered out to curtail protests and have used force against largely peaceful protesters, according to the United States.
Not surprisingly, the Cuban government is opposed to the new sanctions.
“These arbitrary actions contribute to disinformation and aggression and aim to justify the inhumane blockade of Cuba,” Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.
The embargo imposed by the United States on Cuba has been in effect since 1962.
Last week, sanctions were imposed on the country’s defense minister, as well as on a unit in the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, following allegations of human rights violations in connection with the protests.
The rare protests that criticized the regime began on July 11, when thousands of people took to the streets in several Cuban cities. Demonstrators demanded the resignation of the government and expressed frustration at the persistent shortage of goods and medicine.
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