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   being arrested during a protestation  this period  successful  Havana against the Cuban government. The United States is seeking to enforce  penalties for a question    of arrests larger than immoderate  different   Cuban crackdown successful  years, if not decades.
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 against Cuba’s defence curate and an elite brigade of authorities information forces implicit quality rights violations during a crackdown connected protesters this month.

In the days since demonstrations erupted crossed Cuba connected July 11, the Biden medication has been consulting with officials successful 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 placed nether sanctions 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 anti-government sentiment. Additionally, Human Rights Watch officials said connected Thursday that protesters successful Cuba were being subjected to closed-door summary trials without a defence lawyer.

The 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.”

Cuba’s overseas minister, Bruno Rodríguez, said the caller sanctions were “unfounded & slanderous” in a connection connected Twitter.

Calling attraction to constabulary unit successful the United States, the overseas curate added: “It should alternatively use unto itself the Magnitsky Global Act for systematic repression & constabulary brutality that took the lives of 1021 persons successful 2020.”

Jen Psaki, the White House property secretary, described the sanctions arsenic among a scope of responses Mr. Biden would deploy to assistance Cubans 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 the president of the Foreign Relations Committee, said connected Twitter. Mr. Biden “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 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 Trump medication acceptable the fig of unit astatine the bare minimum. It is not wide when, oregon if, the Biden medication volition determination guardant connected either front.

Ernesto Londoño and Frances Robles contributed reporting.

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