Russia sent two humanitarian aid planes to Cuba on Saturday (24), including 1 million masks to combat the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases on the island.
The items were shipped on orders from President Vladimir Putin to the allied country in two Defense Ministry planes, the filing said. There are 88 tons of food and personal protective equipment.
The socialist island of 11 million people is experiencing a worrying increase in the number of infections and deaths caused by Covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic, 316,383 cases and 2,203 deaths have been recorded, according to official data on Friday (23).
Added to this situation are the economic difficulties caused by the American economic embargo.
This Thursday, Washington imposed new sanctions on Cuba, the first concrete step by President Joe Biden to put pressure on the regime since the wave of protests began on the island.
According to the website of the Treasury Department, the measures were taken against General Alvaro Lopez Miera, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, and a security unit of the Ministry of the Interior for human rights violations during the repression of the demonstrations, the largest ever recorded. Cuba for decades.
The immediate effects of the measure are not yet clear, but they are expected to consist of an asset freeze in US territory, as well as a travel ban to the United States. This type of action has a symbolic rather than a practical effect, aimed at exposing and exposing Washington’s foreign policy objectives.
“This is just the start,” Biden said in a statement, expressing condemnation of the “mass arrests and sham trials.” “The United States will continue to punish those responsible for the oppression of the Cuban people.
Biden faces pressure from US lawmakers and the Cuban-American community to show support for the biggest protests that have hit the island in decades.
The speed with which the US government has drafted new sanctions also indicates that Biden is unlikely to soften his country’s approach to Cuba in the near term. His predecessor, Donald Trump, reversed a historic tension initiated by Barack Obama.
Thousands of Cubans protested this month against an economic crisis that has resulted in commodity shortages and power cuts. They also spoke out against the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on civil liberties.
At the end of these demonstrations, which left one dead and dozens injured, around 100 people were arrested, according to various opposition organizations.
Biden had promised during the 2020 campaign to reverse some of Trump’s Cuba policies, but Thursday’s announcement suggests little easing.