Wednesday, August 4

Biden imposes sanctions on the Cuban Defense Minister for the repression of protests

The United States sanctioned this Thursday the Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) of Cuba, Álvaro López-Miera, and an elite military unit popularly known as “black wasps” or “black berets.”

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The US Treasury Department has announced in a statement the sanctions, which hold those authorities responsible for the repression of the anti-government protests on July 11 in Cuba.

According to EFE, the sanctions are part of the response of the Government of US President Joe Biden to the situation on the island, which also includes possible measures to try to improve internet access in Cuba and a study of the possibility of authorizing again sending remittances to the country.

A legislative source, familiar with the conversations within the Administration, had also confirmed to Efe that Biden will impose a new wave of “selective” sanctions against Cuban government officials, in an attempt to support the unprecedented anti-government protests on the island. The sanctions were expected to affect a small number of Cuban Interior Ministry officials and their military.

Last Monday, the Biden administration revealed that the Treasury Department was “exploring to designate Cuban officials responsible for violence, repression and human rights violations against peaceful protesters” in Cuba.

“We will focus on applying strong sanctions to the official regime responsible for the brutal repression,” Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Julie Chung, insisted on Wednesday in a tweet.

Biden has also ordered his team to study reauthorizing the sending of remittances to Cuba, prohibited since last November, provided that it can be guaranteed that the money “reaches the hands of the Cuban people directly,” a US official explained to Efe. .

Another of the measures that the Biden government announced on Monday that are under study is the transfer of more personnel to the US embassy in Havana with the aim of “facilitating diplomatic, consular and civil society participation” and also for reasons of security”.

The president also ordered his government to work with the private sector and Congress to make the internet “more accessible” in Cuba, following the blackout of access on mobile phones after the protests.

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