The US government announced on Thursday (22) new sanctions against Cuba following the protests against the island’s communist regime that erupted on the 11th.
According to the US Treasury Department website, sanctions were imposed on a Cuban security official and an Interior Ministry brigade for human rights violations during the crackdown on protests, the largest on record in Cuba for decades.
This is President Joe Biden’s first concrete move to pressure the Cuban communist regime, in response to demands from lawmakers and the Cuban community in the United States to show support for the protests.
Biden had promised during the 2020 presidential campaign to overturn some of the anti-Cuban policies of the Donald Trump administration, but Thursday’s announcement shows little appetite to resume the rapprochement, which had been attempted under the Obama era.
On the other hand, US politicians told Reuters news agency that the government was also looking for ways to ease Cuba’s suffocation while keeping the Communist regime under pressure. Cuba has been under an American trade and economic embargo for six decades, but the measure has no support from the international community.
On Tuesday, the White House said the Biden administration would form a task force to review the policy for sending remittances to the island. The objective would be to determine a way for Cuban Americans to send money to their families while ensuring that these funds do not fall into the hands of the Cuban government.
The United States is also working with the private sector and with Congress to seek ways to make the internet more accessible on Cuban soil, the US State Department spokesman said, urging island authorities to fully restore the internet, which had been cut after the protests.
The Cuban regime accuses the protesters of being funded by the Americans and last Saturday (17) summoned a crowd of supporters to the streets of Havana to reaffirm the ideals of the Cuban Revolution and reiterate its criticism of Washington.