U.S. President Joe Biden assailed the Cuban authorities Thursday for its crackdown on freedom protesters on the island nation and imposed sanctions on the top of the Cuban navy and the inner safety division that led the assaults on demonstrators.
“I unequivocally condemn the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence,” Biden mentioned in saying the sanctions.
“The Cuban individuals have the identical proper to freedom of expression and peaceable meeting as all individuals,” Biden mentioned. “The United States stands with the brave Cubans who have taken to the streets to oppose 62 years of repression under a communist regime.”
Biden’s rebuke of Cuba’s actions is an about-face for him. He had promised to attempt to ease relations with the nation that could be a mere 145 kilometers from the U.S. coastal state of Florida after former President Donald Trump had taken a troublesome stance towards Cuba.
The sanctions focused Alvaro Lopez Miera, the Cuban minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and the Cuban Ministry of the Interior’s Special National Brigade, also called the Black Berets.
The sanctions, imposed underneath the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act, freeze any of the Cubans’ belongings underneath U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit journey to the U.S. As a sensible impact, the motion serves to publicly identify and disgrace Cuban officers for the crackdown.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined Biden in condemning the Cuban authorities’s response to the protests that began July 11. Hundreds of dissidents have been arrested in probably the most vital demonstrations in Cuba in many years. Many of the protesters stay out of contact with relations.
“The actions of the Cuban security forces,” Blinken mentioned, “lay bare the regime’s fear of its own people and unwillingness to meet their basic needs and aspirations.”
He mentioned Lopez Miera and the Special National Brigade “have been involved in suppressing the protests, including through physical violation and intimidation.”
Biden mentioned Thursday’s sanctions and condemnation of the federal government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel had been “just the beginning – the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people.”
“As we hold the Cuban regime accountable,” Biden mentioned, “our support for the Cuban people is unwavering, and we are making sure Cuban Americans are a vital partner in our efforts to provide relief to suffering people on the island.”
The U.S. chief mentioned his administration is “working with civil society organizations and the private sector to provide internet access to the Cuban people that circumvents the regime’s censorship efforts.”
In addition, Biden mentioned the U.S. is reviewing its money remittance coverage to forestall theft of the money by Cuban officers. Expatriates have reported sending money to family in Cuba solely to search out that the federal government has pilfered it.
Biden mentioned the U.S. is dedicated to growing the scale of its embassy workers in Havana to supply consular providers to Cubans in spite of everything however 10 U.S. diplomats there have been withdrawn in 2017 and 2018. Numerous envoys in Havana had complained of sonic assaults that left them bodily impaired.
“Advancing human dignity and freedom is a top priority for my administration, and we will work closely with our partners throughout the region, including the Organization of American States, to pressure the regime to immediately release wrongfully detained political prisoners, restore internet access, and allow the Cuban people to enjoy their fundamental rights,” Biden mentioned.