The United States on Friday imposed sanctions against Cuban police, and Joe Biden, under pressure on this politically hot topic, promised to follow other measures until “drastic” changes take place in Cuba.
Asked about additional sanctions, the US president responded on the sidelines of a meeting at the White House with representatives of Cuban-Americans: “Unless there is drastic change in Cuba, there will be others, which I know hope not. “
The United States on Friday approved two senior Cuban police officers, as well as the entire Revolutionary National Police, to join the crackdown on recent protests against the Cuban government, the Treasury Department said.
PNR director Oscar Callejas Valcars and deputy director Eddie Sierra Arias, who are accused of “serious human rights violations”, have been added to the US blacklist.
His potential assets in the United States will be frozen and his access to the US financial system is now barred to him.
“The Treasury will continue to name and identify those who facilitate serious human rights violations by the Cuban regime,” said Andrea Gacci, director of the Treasury’s main sanctions unit.
“The measures taken today are aimed at holding those responsible for the suppression of respect for the liberties and human rights of the Cuban people,” he said.
On 11 and 12 July, thousands of Cubans demonstrated with the slogan “We are hungry” or “Down with the dictatorship”.
According to various opposition organizations, at the end of these demonstrations, the most important since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, nearly 100 people were arrested.
Washington immediately strongly condemned the action and supported the protesters, promising to help the Cuban people.
But President Joe Biden finds himself under increasing pressure from Congress and the Cuban-American community to take more concrete action.
So the Treasury announced on 22 July the first series of targeted financial sanctions against Cuban Defense Minister lvaro López Mira and the “Black Berets”, a special unit of the Interior Ministry deployed during the demonstrations.
But the impact of these sanctions, which comes on top of those, much more general, that have already targeted the Caribbean island for decades, are very limited – especially since the Interior Ministry as a whole is already in the US. was on the blacklist.
– ” a shame ” –
“We hear your voice. We are listening to the call for independence,” the US president said Friday, denouncing the “failed communist regime (of Cuba).”
He recalled that other support measures were being studied.
The United States in particular is looking at ways to guarantee free access to the Internet on the island.
Washington also wants to ensure that money transfers sent by the Cuban community abroad, which Americans say have been partially diverted by the Cuban military, reach their destination.
But the Democratic president, rallying so voluntarily, has little chance of rallying the Republicans behind him.
The latter, long associated with intense criticism of the communist regime, never stopped to remind Biden that Barack Obama, of which he was vice president, had attempted a policy of openness with Havana.
“Democrats on Cuba are vulnerable, spreading the lies of the anti-American propaganda of the Communist regime. Biden’s lack of perseverance is a shame,” the Republican National Committee commented in a statement Friday.
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